While I love a slow wake up, I'm not a fan of a huge breakfast. I'm usually content with a piece of fruit, some yogurt, or a bowl of oatmeal, and my morning routine was kicked up a notch when I learned how to make granola at home. Like many other things, granola from scratch is better than anything you'll find in a box. It's fresh, healthy, and best of all, customized to your taste. You can adjust the ingredients to make your granola as sweet, salty, crunchy, or as fruity as you like. And as you're about to see, it's a snap to make.
Start with some oatmeal (I use the old fashioned kind, not the instant in a packet).
Then add coconut, sliced almonds, and chopped pecans.
Why hello honey bear. You're looking awfully cute today. Raw honey. Nummy.
Add some honey, vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt, and stir everything around.
Add some cinnamon, stick your nose down into the bowl, and inhale deeply. Mmmmm...
Now spread out your granola mix in a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 or 6 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add some chopped dried cherries.
And bake for another 5-10 minutes, until your granola is golden brown. It will keep in an airtight container for two weeks. Eat it with milk like cereal, eat it as a snack on its own, or do what I do. Granola + plain yogurt + fresh berries or bananas = happy breakfast. I promise. Who knows, maybe it'll even convert you into a morning person.
Cherry, Almond, and Cinnamon Granola
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, found on FoodNetwork.com
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut (unsweetened is fine too, you'll find coconut in the baking aisle at the grocery store)
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped (any dried fruit will work here)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, salt, and pecans together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids. Pour onto a sheet pan (I used a roasting pan so nothing would spill). Bake, stirring every 5 minutes with a spatula, for 20 minutes. Add the dried cherries, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature.