Homemade Cinnamon Pecan Granola

cinnamon-pecan granola | Browniebox_3

Today I made homemade granola and devoured it with natural yogurt and fresh fruits for breakfast. Yes, it was good. I know, I know I love eating chocolate all the time but I also enjoy healthy and nutritious treats.

I’ve never really liked the store brought granola. Every brand has a different taste and its either too sweet, not crunchy enough, or has stale dried fruits yukh! I am never happy with the available flavors on the market. They also contain an excessive amount of fat, calories, and hard-to-pronounce additives (which are not good for you!).

cinnamon-pecan granola | Browniebox_2
Everyone can create their customized granola with just a little bit of mixing and toasting. My version here has chopped pecans and cinnamon. It stays crunchy and delicious for around three weeks. I usually keep it refrigerated in a sealed jar and it’s immediately ready to use as topping for yogurt, ice-cream, and cereal. (or just for snacking ;))

I compiled a list of ingredients that you can add to your basic granola mixture before baking it (don’t forget to cut down on dried fruits and nuts if you want to keep it healthy):

Dried fruits: raisins, figs, apricots, cherries, dates, cranberries, bananas, blueberries, coconut flakes
Nuts: walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, peanuts
Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, allspice
Seeds and grains: pumpkin, flax and sesame seeds, toasted wheat germ
Other ingredients: chocolate chips, peanut chips, candied peel, crunchy cereal
Binders: Vegetable oil, walnut oil, peanut oil, almond oil, canola oil, applesauce, egg whites
Sweetener (depending on the flavor that you prefer): Honey, light or dark densely packed brown sugar, agave syrup, molasses, maple syrup.

See? The sky is the limit!
If you are looking for a recipe that is reduced in fat and calories, just cut back a little bit on fruits and nuts and chop them up into very small pieces to perceive a greater amount ingredients.
cinnamon-pecan granola | Browniebox_4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon water
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 150 C (300 F).
2. Combine brown sugar and water in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds or until sugar is dissolved.
3. Add oil and cinnamon then oats and pecans, stirring until coated.
4. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the oat mixture as evenly as possible (to toast the ingredients evenly).
5. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring twice (every 10 minutes).
6. Transfer mixture to a large plate or another sheet of wax paper. Let cool completely.
7. Store in an airtight container. (you can also refrigerate the mixture to retain freshness).

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