Homemade Cranberry Granola

Homemade Cranberry Granola
During the cold, icy winter months we are subjected to in Missouri, I am glued to the bike trainer in the corner of my basement for several hours a week. If I’m not catching up on the latest Bachelor episode (forgive me) or taking an easy day and cruising to the tune of a podcast, I prefer to plug in a Youtube trainer workout and spike my heart rate for the following hour or two. Now, I’ve discussed my biking skills (or lack thereof) here before, but I had an epiphany this week. I’ve been biking too slow. Groundbreaking, right? This video had me increasing my cadence to numbers I didn’t know could exist on my bike screen. As a classic mold of a long distance runner, my legs are used to the slow-and-steady pace and it is apparent I translated that on wheels, as well. All I’m saying is this girl is officially resigning as the bike caboose. In the midst of all that excitement, I had another epiphany this week. Homemade granola. For years, I had avoided buying granola because 1.) so much sugar and 2.) anything without so much sugar is so much money. So, I dreamt up my ideal ingredients paired with the taste I craved and crossed my fingers. I’ll be honest, the result is enough to make anyone quit buying granola. It is nutty and crunchy, and the perfect amount of sweet. Don’t be afraid to mix up the nuts and dried fruit mix-ins to fit your preference. To sum up this week's lessons:
  1. If you’re slow at biking, bike faster.
  2. If you don’t want to buy granola, make it.

DIY Homemade Cranberry Granola

Yield: about 7 cups Ingredients
  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • ½ cup seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir ingredients well.
  4. Add the oil mixture to the oats and stir with a spatula until the oats are coated.
  5. Gently, spread the granola onto the lined baking sheet until it is in a thick, even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the coconut over top of the granola and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until coconut is lightly toasted.
  7. Removed the granola from the oven and let cool until it reached room temperature. This allows the granola to harden and get those big clumps (which are the best!). Once the mix is cool, add the dried fruit and store in an airtight container. Granola is best enjoyed over yogurt, swimming in milk, or by itself!
Nutrition Information (per ½ cup serving)
  • 212 calories,
  • 30 g carbohydrates
  • 8 g fat
  • 10 g protein
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