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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adventures in the Kitchen: Homemade Cinnamon Granola (GF)

I love when I find a recipe that replaces something I would normally buy at a store. Sure, it's a little extra work to make your own, rather than buy it ready made, but for several reasons it is often worth it for me to make rather than buy:

(1) Less packaging = less waste. Pretty much every food item at the store comes in some kind of disposable (or recyclable) packaging. Cereal has a bag in a box. Granola bars are individually wrapped and in a box. Sure, the ingredients to make your own at home come in packaging too, but once you make your food item, you can store it in re-useable containers until you eat it up.

(2) You mix it, so you know exactly what's in it. Ok, I am not a super health nut, but have you looked at some of the ingredients in the food we eat?!?...I have started to really take a look at the items in our pantry and I'm think if I can't even pronounce the ingredient, should I really be putting it in my body? I like knowing what's in my food.

(3) Saves money. I can make my own granola bars for around $0.25 per bar...the brand I used to buy at the store was about $0.95 per bar. Now, I understand that for many people 'time is money', and paying the extra $0.70 per granola bar is worth it for some people...but most days, I would take the saving $$ over saving time. 

With fresh berries in season now, I got the idea to make my own granola to use in fruit and yogurt breakfast parfaits. I searched high and low for different recipes, and eventually decided to try my cousins' recipe that she shared on her blog earlier this year. (With a few tweaks of course!) To see Holly's original recipe, check out her blog Heart Break Kids ~ Granola 

Homemade Cinnamon Granola (GF)
3 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil *
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1/2 cup raisins (added after baking)
* I have also substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil, but I prefer the taste of vegetable oil (I am just NOT a fan of coconut...)

1. Preheat oven to 250 degress F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, syrup, oil, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well, mixture will be quite soupy.
3. Add the oats and almonds to the brown sugar mixture, and mix well to coat the oats and almonds.
4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and divide the mixture between the two pans. Spread to cover parchment paper.
5. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
6. After cooling, mix in raisins (or other dried fruit) and store in air tight container. 
**Holly has super great pictures of each step HERE - I pretty much followed the same steps...
The longer you bake it, the crunchier the granola gets. I have left mine in for an additional 20 min to make it super crunchy! (so 1 hr 40 min total). 
Add some berries and vanilla greek yogurt and you have yourself a perfect summer breakfast! 

When I was taking these pictures an episode of FRIENDS popped into my head: "You have to take a bite with all the layers!" Name that FRIENDS episode? It is my all time favorite episode! I think I could act the whole thing out, I've seen it so many times!

Do you have a favorite granola recipe?


  1. I love homemade granola...this one looks good too!

  2. Love this! I pinned it and am going to make it for sure, almost all of our extended family eats gluten free, and this would make a fantastic christmas gift!

    P.S. your blog is awesome! I'm your newest follower on GFC, twitter, FB and Pinterest!

  3. I love this same little treat. I am still looking for my favorite granola recipe. I am almost finished with mine, so I will try yours next!

  4. This sounds delicious. I actually printed off several recipes last week to make my own but haven't made it to the store yet. I think I'm going to have to add some cinnamon!

  5. okay - I'm bookmarking this and will be trying this later this week