If youâ€™re anything like me, it seems like the holidays are just an excuse to go from one pie to another, leaving you a little wider come January. Therefore, instead of offering a luscious, butter-filled sweet recipe in this space, I thought a better idea would be to share a slightly healthier one. I found this in the April issue of Real Simple, and it really lives up to its name of Easy Granola. Granola is shockingly expensive in the grocery store, and this version is just as good (and fresher). I am not advocating this over pies and sweets as a whole, but a swap every once and a while might help the waistline a bit. Â My additions are bracketed below.
Easy Toss-and Bake Granola
* 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
* 1 cup sliced almonds [Or walnuts, pecans, etc. â€“ these have all worked for me]
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened) [As a coconut lover, I go a full cup]
* 1/4 cup unsalted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) or shelled sunflower seeds [I prefer a Â½ cup]
* 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 cup dried fruit (such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, or currants) [the cranberries and pepitas offer a little holiday flare]
1. Heat oven to 350Â° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the oats, almonds, coconut, and pepitas with the maple syrup, oil, and salt. [A tsp of vanilla extract as well as cinnamon doesnâ€™t hurt either.]
2. Bake, tossing once, until golden and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. [I disagree here - make sure to take out and toss every 7/8 min or so â€“ or the top layer will burn â€“ especially the coconut.]
3. Add the dried fruit and toss to combine. Let cool.
This one is a winner and is great for snacking or for having a big bowl of cereal (and it wonâ€™t change the color of your milk!). Â And of course, So Good is an expert on granola, so trust us – we’re professionals.