About a year or so ago, my mom and I started eating yogurt, granola, and fruit for breakfast. It’s so delicious and is one of those “candies” that is composed solely of healthy food. The thing is, we didn’t really like yogurt that much. What happens when Greek yogurt is all the rage, yet you find it a wee bit too strong? My mom actually found Stonyfield organic yogurt, and we absolutely LOVE it!
Of course, we get the French Vanilla flavor most of the time, which contributes strongly to the tastes as we found when we tried plain, but mixing strawberries in with any flavor is sure to spice it up a bit.
A component of our daily yogurt ritual is Heartland Granola Cereal. I never really thought of making granola myself, since the store bought kind was good, but when I made this recipe I was in love – and it’s only gotten better as we’ve made it more often.
The sweet, cinnamony flakes of goodness are wonderful with yogurt, milk, or just straight out of the container! It also has wonderful versatility – you can add flax seeds, different nuts, etc. as long as you add a bit more of the honey, syrup, or oil. One key element to remember that makes all the difference between the featured photo with all the clumps and the second-featured photo without clumps is stirring and lack thereof. Most people enjoy having clumps, and it was the biggest challenge trying to figure out how to make them. I tried adding more honey, more syrup, more wet ingredients in general. I tried letting it cool down with the oven instead of taking it out. It turns out that the secret to clumpiness is so simple: don’t stir the granola while in the oven, and allow the granola to cool down on the counter before putting it away. However, if you desire flaky granola, stir 1-3 times throughout the baking time.
The friend’s family that gave me the recipe love it so much that it doesn’t even make it to the oven! Although we don’t love it enough to eat it raw, it still far surpasses Heartland granola, and we will be making it many more times in the future 🙂
Cinnamon Sweet ‘n’ Salty Granola
Makes 16 cups
8 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
2 cups wheat bran
2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. salt
1 cup honey
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 tbsp. 2% reduced-fat milk (I used 1%)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking sheet.
- Combine oats, wheat bran, coconut, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; stir well.
- Stir honey, oil, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat until mixture fizzes around the edges. Pour over oat mixture and stir well.
- Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes until browned.
- Place baking sheet on a wire rack and cool undisturbed until room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Break up and store in a large container at room temperature up to one month. Enjoy with yogurt, craisins, fruit, milk, or anything else your heart desires!