Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trail Mix Granola

So sorry about my lack of posting recently! Alas, life as a college student proves to be quite hectic from time to time, and sadly cooking must sometimes take the back seat to studies. But, to break from my cooking break, this week I decided to make granola! My inspiration for making this was the Nature's Path cinnamon apple pecan granola that I've basically been living off of for the past week. Now Nature's Path is an amaaazing organic and healthy brand, which usually means that its quite expensive to boot. BUT I recently found it at a local discount store for only 99 cents per bag! Heaven! But this morning I awoke sad and distraught..remembering I had caved and finished the last of my delicious granola the previous night. What was I supposed to do? The 30 minute drive to the discount store was out of the question....so why not make some granola? Perfect Idea.

No more than an hour with cook and prep time, and so so very easy. I should really actually name this granola "everything but the kitchen sink" granola because it basically had a ton of odds and ends from my kitchen that needed to be used up. That end of a bag of flax seeds? Yep. Dried fruit that's about to go stale? Sure, why not. Below is what my random assortment of seeds and nuts produced, but feel free to make some switch ups to what you have on hand..just keep the proportions the same because it is good and yummy that way. I have a ton more ideas that I will post once I plow through this huge batch of delicious homemade granola. Try this one out..its soo yummy! Better than any store bought brand, in my humble opinion.

Trail Mix Granola
3 cups oats
1/2 cup golden flax seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Cup almond meal
1/2 cup crushed almonds
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 agave nectar
1/2 cup fruit juice (I used apple peach mango..but I'm sure whatever you've got on hand would be just as good!)
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or any oil really if you don't have coconut..I just think it gives it a little hint of coconut that is very pleasant for sweet things)

1. Preheat oven to 275 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2.Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
 3.In a small bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Microwave for 20 seconds so the coconut oil melts if you're using it.
4.Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly so that all the dry ingredients are coated by the wet
5. Pour the granola mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring mixture every 15 minutes.
6. Once 45 minutes have passed, allow the granola to cool for around 6 hours before eating so the sugars can recrystallize and it can become nice and crunchy! Enjoy!

Health Benefits!!
Flax- High in fiber, antioxidants and healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help to lower bad cholesterol. Flax seeds contain lignans, a phytoestrogen that has been shown to have cancer-preventing properties. Flax seeds are also a great source of Vitamin E, minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium, vitamin B-6, and folates.
Dried Cranberries- low in fat, and high in fiber!
Raisins- Raisins are awesome for you! They contain a phytonutrient known as oleanolic acid, which helps promote good oral health by destroying the bacteria that causes cavities. They are high in iron, high fiber, and contain boron which allows other nutrients to be absorbed into the body.
Oats- High in soluble fiber, oats have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, help promote healthy digestion, oats stabilize blood sugar levels, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, high in selenium which helps antioxidant systems throughout the body, and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure.
Almonds- considered a brain food as they contain many brain developing nutrients, almonds are full of healthy fats that regulate cholesterol and are good for the heart. They are also very high in protein, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.
Cinnamon- lowers blood sugar levels, increases insulin production helping prevent type 2 diabetes, has an anti-clotting effect on the blood, smelling cinnamon alone improves cognitive functioning, fights E.Coli bacteria, has been shown to alleviate headache
Ginger- relieves nausea and indigestion, prevents motion sickness, may help morning sickness, antispasmotic  properties help relieve cramps, useful in helping arthritis, can reduce cholesterol levels in blood, and it is an aphrodisiac ;-)
Blackstrap Molasses- Yes, a sweetener that is GOOD for you! Unrefined and delicious, blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron (2 tsp provides you with a wopping 13% of your daily intake), it is also high in calcium (2 tsp will provide you with almost 12% of your daily intake). Also a good source of copper and manganese.
Sunflower seeds- Sunflower seeds improve digestion, brain power and cardiovascular system; it is rich in magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc and iron.



  1. Just came across your blog and I appreciate all your healthy recipes. Now I'm craving granola :) I've never had much luck making my own - it always turns out hard as a rock. I'll have to give this recipe a try!

  2. Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy this recipe...this is definitely the best results i've ever gotten as far as granola making goes. Let me know how it turns out!