Granola has always been something that we have in our pantry at my house because it makes all of us eat more yogurt (crazy but true). At first, I would just buy it, but most commercial brands are high in calories, and more importantly, are loaded with unhealthy ingredients (preservatives). I don't know about you, but if I wanted to splurge and eat something sinful, it wouldn't be granola! This recipe still has sugar and honey, but those are needed to get the ultimate crunch factor...let's start there to get you all eating healthier! When you get the hang of it, I will post another recipe I have that uses more seeds and nuts and less sugar (less crunch but still fabulous!).
3/4 c oil *
1/2 c honey (try to use local honey...those bee farmers work hard!)
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
7 c rolled oats (not instant)
1 c wheat germ (or ground flax seed/chia seed is good as well...and, gluten free)
1 c sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds
1/2 c coconut (omit if you don't like this...but you won't really taste it!)
1 c sliced almonds
1 c chopped dates (can sub in any dried fruit here)
1 c chopped dried figs (can sub in any dried fruit here)
*I use olive oil because my dad makes his own and I have loads of it (yes, it is fine to "sometimes" use olive oil in baking!). If you would rather, use canola oil or sunflower oil...I'm not a fan of vegetable oil.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Get 2 cookie sheets ready (no need to spray or line with parchment (you can if you don't want to wash them later).
*it is important to get this mixture fully integrated into the dry mix. If you can take it, use your hands once the mixture cools a bit, to really get in there and mix it well.