One of the downsides of constant snacking is that I often grow tired of things fast (I still love you hummus, but we need a break. Same goes for you hard boiled eggs). During the week while I'm at work, I have what I call second and third breakfast; first being the breakfast that I eat at home. Second breakfast is usually plain yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in. Third breakfast is usually toasted homemade bread with peanut butter or some other topping. I try to only eat plain yogurt because I want to control what I flavor it with. Fresh fruit is great. However, I've reached a plateau with it recently, and wanted something different. I have no idea why I didn't think of homemade granola sooner.
Homemade granola is so simple and easy to make and a whole lot less expensive than what you purchase in a store. It's also a great way to sneak some whole grains into a snack. It's been years, years, since I've made granola, and I have no good excuse. If you've got 30 spare minutes, you can whip this up and snack during the week. As I've said, it tastes great mixed in yogurt.
Mixed Berry Granola
One of the benefits of making your own granola is its versatility; don't like coconut? then leave it out! do you love only blueberries? then only used dried blueberries for goodness sakes. But I'll tell you, the mixed berry blend I found at the store (mixed dried blueberries, strawberries and cherries) tastes great in this recipe.
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground, if possible)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup mixed berry dried fruit (or dried fruit of your choice)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil lightly coated with non-stick spray.
2) In a large bowl, toss together rolled oats, coconut, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3) Stir together oil and honey and pour over oat mixture; toss/stir to evenly coat.
4) Spread oat mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 16 to 20 minutes (until lightly toasted).
5) Place mixture in large bowl. Stir in dried fruit. Bring to room temperature. Store in airtight container up to one month (as if it would last that long).