Contrary to popular belief, granola is actually not very good for you. It's full of sugar, but people think "Oh granola! That's good for me! I will eat 3 cups of it!" It's not meant to be eaten like cereal, bowl after bowl. It's meant to be used in MODERATION (a key word I'm trying to apply to every day life...) to give you some essential fats and complex carbs. Otherwise you're going to load up on the calories and sugars without even knowing it. I mixed this with plain, organic yogurt, just enough to give it texture, and it was something I could feel good about.
Now, on a lighter note, it's delicious! Granola is nice because you can utilize just about anything you have laying around, be it fruit, nuts, grains, etc. I made cranberry because we had a big bag of dried cranberries and a bottle of cranberry juice, but you can really mix it up to use up whatever you have. It's easy and will last. Put it in a ziploc and freeze extras which will last for weeks. Or, as I like to do, share it! Bring it to work, or put it in a nice jar and give it as a gift.
3 cups rolled oats (NOT the silly instant kind, the old fashioned ones)
1 cup sunflower seeds ( I didn't have raw, so I used roasted, salted)
1/2 cup almonds (or any other nut you have)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup canola oil (and extra to coat the pan)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup juice (I used cranberry)
1 tbsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a large cake pan with canola oil.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl (ingredients 1-7) and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the final 4 wet ingredients.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the pan. It should be about 1 inch thick.
5. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix slightly.
6. Bake for 45-60 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides into the middle to avoid burning.