Vanilla Almond Granola

Although I have a long list of foods that I’d consider to be my favorite, there are only a few that I can say have been life-long obsessions of mine. On the short list is granola. I LOVE GRANOLA. There is something about it that makes me happy. It reminds me of vacation, and relaxation, and it makes me feel totally satisfied. Granola makes my heart and my tummy sing!

Somewhere along the way I discovered that not all granola is created equally. Many packaged varieties are high in sugar and contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce. If you don’t choose your granola wisely, this deceptively healthy¬†breakfast option could start your day off on the wrong foot. Once I began reading the ingredients on granola packages, I made sure to buy ones that only contained real ingredients. Through this granola realization, it never occurred to me that I should make my own at home. Finally, a few months ago I began experimenting with different granola recipes. The minute I saw how easy it was to make homemade granola, I felt completely idiotic that I had waited so long to make my own.

After playing around with different ingredients and proportions, I perfected and fell in love with this Vanilla Almond Granola. I used vanilla and almond extract to flavor the gluten-free oats, and maple syrup and coconut oil to sweeten and crisp them. The final product was a slightly sweet, crunchy and wholesome granola that can be enjoyed on top of yogurt, with milk, or alone, by the handfuls. Granola is so customizable, so if you don’t have almonds or prefer a different nut, change it up. Also, if you don’t have fresh fruit, add in dried fruit. You just can’t go wrong!

It’s tough to say that I’ll never buy granola at the grocery store again, but for now I’m absolutely loving this Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola. Plus, I’m addicted to the way my house smells when the granola is baking in the oven! I can’t wait to continue playing around with different ingredients and recipes to add other new varieties to my granola repertoire.

Add oats, almonds, flax meal, salt and cinnamon to a bowl

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Melt coconut oil. Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract. Pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat evenly.

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Spread granola mixture on a large baking sheet in a thin layer.

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Baked until granola is golden brown, toasted and crunchy

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Store granola for 2-3 weeks in a sealed container at room temperature.

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Serve granola over yogurt with fresh or dried fruit

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And before you know it, it’s going…going…gone!

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Vanilla Almond Granola

What You Need

  • 3 cups gluten-free oats
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Optional additions: 3/4 - 1 cup raisins, or other dried fruit of choice

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, ground flax meal, almonds, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Melt coconut oil. Once the oil is melted, combine oil, syrup, vanilla and almond extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over the oat mixture. Stir until everything is coated and well combined.
  5. Spread out mixture on a large baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toasted and is slightly crunch. The granola will continue to get crunchier as it cools.
  7. Once granola is cooled, add in dried fruit if you are using it.
  8. Enjoy by itself, over yogurt, or with milk
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