When I was a kid growing up in the (gasp) 70’s…the “health craze” was a fairly new phenomenon. Fast food was becoming more common, although the town that I lived in did not acquire a fast food restaurant until after I had left for college! Mothers at home fixing 3 meals a day were no longer a given, and the 1972 introduction of the first video arcade game by Atari (if you remember “Pong” you are really, truly old!) ushered in a new age of kids sitting on their behinds that changed the culture of childhood forever. Back then, all the fun, new convenience foods that were coming out were kind of exciting. Most of us didn’t understand the impact these foods might have on our health and a lot of families were still preparing and eating the majority of their food at home, with real, whole food ingredients. So to mainstream America, the people raising the red flags and talking about how we all needed to get back to a more natural way of living and eating seemed a little strange…and we called them “Crunchy”…a reference to that most healthy of all health foods…granola! Today, in 2013, there are many granola products on the shelves and just as with any other product of our modern food industry, it’s important to check out the ingredients list. You can find granola made out of real food, but it tends to be expensive. Here’s the recipe we use. I don’t even know where it originally came from, as it’s just copied onto a piece of scrap paper, so I apologize for not being able to properly give credit. The nice thing about making granola is that you can pretty much just throw in what you have available and can customize it to reflect what you and your family like. We eat ours as a cereal with milk and we also sprinkle it over yogurt and fruit. My husband likes to just grab handfuls of it to snack on. Because it’s full of fiber, protein and healthy fats it tends to be very filling. A batch of granola in a large jar also makes a great gift. Enjoy!
~3/4 cup honey
~1 cup coconut oil
~4 cups of uncooked oats (works with either old fashioned or quick cooking)
~1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
~1 cup slivered almonds (or whatever kind of chopped nuts you like)
~1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
~1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1. Melt the honey and coconut oil together in a saucepan over low to medium heat.
2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Pour the honey/coconut mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to mix thoroughly.
4. Spread onto a large, parchment paper lined, baking sheet.
5. Bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time.
6. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.