Fruit and Nut Granola

Some things in life are both good for you, and a little bit of a treat. Granola is one of those things. Granola has really great ingredients, like nuts and oats that are high in protein, and dried fruit for a natural sweetness that is guilt-free. It also happens to be smothered in maple syrup or honey, but that’s what makes it so yummy! I think it’s more important to look in the good qualities of things – especially granola.

I’ve been trying to keep my snacks a bit healthier these past few weeks because lately I’ve been treating myself…all the time. I still want to have yummy snacks, just slightly less added sugar and more protein to keep me fuller longer. This granola is delicious, has less added sugar than the processed granola bars I take to work, and has plenty of protein. Fantastic qualities!

Making your own granola means that you can control the ingredients. I like to see the amount of maple syrup that is added so that I know exactly the damage I’m doing. It is also kind of fun to make because it is so quick and easy, and can be enjoyed over the course of a week or so. So many things we cook are consumed immediately. All that hard work is gone in thirty minutes. But granola can be eaten as a snack, breakfast, or dessert for the next few days. That’s a good quality!

3 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 raisins

Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Mix together the oats, coconut flakes, roughly chopped almonds, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a big bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix to coat evenly. Spread mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, toss, and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the craisins and raisins in the last three minutes so that they don’t get hard. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

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