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Autumn Comfort Food: Our Family’s Favorite Granola Recipe

A delightful aroma of roasting oats and nuts spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger wafts from the kitchen into the rest of the house. The tantalizing smell draws family from out of their bedrooms. The aroma of fresh-from-the-oven granola brings each of us together to munch, laugh, and enjoy being together. It is one of the blessings that come from making this delicious cereal. Like coffee, warm granola brings people together.  And shhh: An added bonus is how healthy it is for our bodies.

Ultimately, there are many different varieties of granola on the commercial market, yet I have found that homemade is simply the best of the best. Adding what I like and taking out what I don’t, the granola becomes personalized as well as a favorite treat. Chock-full of protein, saturated fat, vitamins and minerals, it is a hearty snack and/or satisfying breakfast for all to enjoy.  Furthermore, I love that it is super simple to whip up a batch!

While the base of our favored granola recipe stems from the 100 Days of Real Food blog by Lisa Leake, I have made some adjustments that personalize it to our family’s tastes and preferences.

whole food granola and oats

Quality Ingredients

Having a predisposition of all things pure and unrefined, I choose to use cinnamon and ginger essential oils in place of the dried spices. In addition, I also choose to use honey that is locally sourced as well as of the raw variety. Raw honey is a good source of antioxidants, boosts immunity, and encourages good digestion and gut health. However, studies show that once honey has been pasteurized, many of these amazing health benefits are destroyed.

Likewise, I make sure to source organic, unseasoned nuts and seeds for this recipe. Ultimately, this ensures the most nutrient-dense variety of granola with the freshest of ingredients and no added preservatives, sodium, sugars, etc. Henceforth, I know that I am cooking with the purest of whole foods without any hidden ingredients. Altogether, this is a source of true comfort for me and the overall health of my family.

Granola Recipe

In short, what makes up our family’s favorite granola cereal that has become a staple breakfast and snack item in the home? Here is the recipe we have come to know and love:

3 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup raw sliced/chopped almonds

1 cup raw cashew pieces (or a mix of walnuts or pecans)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 drops cinnamon essential oil (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)

1-2 drops ginger essential oil (pending on taste preference, or 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger)

1/2 tsp nutmeg (or freshly grated)

6 T unsalted butter

1/2 cup raw honey

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, mix almonds, cashews/walnuts/pecans together and pulse a few times until nuts are of preferred cereal-like consistency. Do not chop to a fine dust!

In a large bowl, mix the dry oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, and seeds together.

Heat the butter and honey together over low heat in a small saucepan. Once the butter melts and cools a bit, stir in the vanilla and salt. After the mixture cools significantly, add the drops of essential oils of ginger and cinnamon.  

Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, adding nutmeg, and stir together with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.  

Next, spread the mixture onto prepared pan in one even layer. Bake for 75 minutes.  (checking at 30 minutes and mixing around to prevent any scorching or burning).

The granola will become crisp as it cools, at which point you can break into small chunks by pounding it in a zip lock bag. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

granola parfait

Indulge in What’s Good

As fragrant and flavorful as this cereal is coming out of a warm oven, one will be lucky to have it remain in the kitchen for two weeks! 

Ultimately some of our favorite ways to enjoy homemade granola is to simply pour it into a bowl and add a blend of almond/coconut milk over top. Additionally, topping it off with some fresh berries and, voila, it is a delicious, hearty, satisfying snack or breakfast. As a result, it is certain to satisfy all morning long. Likewise, adding granola as a topping to a yogurt parfait is equally delicious (and mini-chocolate chips are a bonus treat). With this in mind, feel free to add dried fruit of choice to your hearty granola and make more of a muesli cereal. Dried cranberries, raisins, or bits of dried pineapple are favorite additions to our granola. Simply add them after all the granola has cooled from baking in the oven.

Ultimately, this is a snack anyone can feel good about enjoying. It’s chock-full of nutrients and tastes great! That is to say, though, you will find yourself coming back for more!

In addition to granola, be sure to try some other delicious recipes on The We Spot blog. Simply click “Recipes” and enjoy everything from Pumpkin Cake Balls to Homemade Coffee Drinks, Butternut Squash Soup, Applesauce, and more!

Stacy McClelland

Stacy is a woman with Texas roots, who, as a lover of mountains, camping, and hiking, is over-the-moon to call Loveland, CO her current home. Stacy holds a degree in Elementary Education, having spent many years in the classroom as a Special Education or Substitute Teacher. As wife to her pastor-husband for over twenty years, and mother to their three daughters, Stacy has been blessed with the opportunity to manage their home and focus on raising their girls. Partnering with her husband in ministry over the past two decades, she is armed with experiences of walking through the hardships of life with many. However, she has also had the opportunity to embrace beautiful moments of joy, grace, and overcoming with others, as well. It has been her honor and joy, as of late, to serve and teach within Bible Study Fellowship as a Substitute Teaching Leader. Coming alongside other women to read, study, learn and grow in their understanding of the Bible and how it applies to their everyday lives has been where Stacy has discovered her “sweet spot” for teaching. Having traveled many parts of the world, she yearns to come alongside, support, and edify others in and through their circumstances. She hopes another avenue for finding connection with women will be found in and through her writing. For, it is her joy in life to encourage, uplift, and connect with youth and women in navigating “this thing called life.”

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