Chunky Monkey Granola

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We are breakfast eaters.  My family loves breakfast.  Breakfast casserole, pancakes, hashbrowns, eggs, bacon, sausage, migas, breakfast burritos, frittatas, biscuits, yogurt parfaits, breakfast bowls.  I even have a blog post from way back that is a Week of Make-Ahead Breakfasts!

We love breakfast.

We even eat breakfast-y foods as snacks when it’s not breakfast!

I love granola, but I usually have a couple of problems with it.  First:  it’s expensive!  Second:  it usually has some ingredients that I don’t love and end up picking out.  Raisins?  Umm…no.

I recently decided to try making my own granola so I could just put in what I like.

I’m never going back.

I will never buy granola again!  Not only was it much quicker and easier than I thought it would be to make it, it is also DELICIOUS!  My kids could not stop eating it.  Michael could not stop eating it.  I could not stop eating it!  I can’t say it’s cheaper because that all depends on the ingredients you choose.  You can really make it as cheap or as expensive as you want.

So now it’s gone and I’m about to make more – with a few tweaks.  Christopher wasn’t crazy about all the fruit.  He would like our granola to ONLY include nuts and oatmeal.  I’m so not doing that.  But I’m putting different fruits this time – and probably not as much.  Elizabeth would like a version with peanuts in it, so I’m working on a peanut/peanut butter version.  But that’s later.  I wasn’t entirely happy with a few choices, so I’m changing a few ingredients.

I’m giving you the basic recipe, but there is plenty of wiggle room to change what you want to.

Chunky Monkey Granola

  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 5 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup of cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of smoked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of craisins
  • 1 cup of banana chips
  • 1 cup of big sweetened coconut flakes, roughly chopped
  • 1 box of chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Please don’t skip this step!

In a really big bowl, mix together syrup, sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil.  Add the oats and nuts, stirring after each addition.  Make sure EVERYTHING is coated with the syrup mixture.

Pour out onto the parchment-lined pan and use a spoon or your hands to spread the mixture out to the edges of the pan.  Use a ramekin or other small round bowl to firmly press the mixture into the pan until it is really packed.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning the pan halfway through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least one hour.

Break granola into chunks mix in the fruits.

Enjoy!

Well Duh #1:  I call this Chunky Monkey Granola because of the banana chips.  You can call yours whatever you like!

Well Duh #2:  I melted the coconut oil in the microwave before adding it in.

Well Duh #3:  Do you know what “packed” brown sugar is?  I just assumed you would, but just in case you don’t, here’s what that means:  use your fingers to pack the sugar into the measuring cup.  You can’t just scoop it out like regular sugar.  If you do, you’ll be about 1/3 short on every recipe.  Pack it!

Well Duh #4:  You really have to pack the mixture into the pan to get those yummy clusters.

Well Duh #5:  I stored most of mine in a Rubbermaid container with a tight lid, but I stored lots of it in individual bags for snacking and sharing, too.

Well Duh #6:  You can substitute whatever you want as far as nuts and fruits, but try to keep the same measurements.  And, yes, you have to use the oatmeal!

We went through this pretty fast.  I had some with milk for breakfast one morning and Elizabeth used it to make a yummy yogurt parfait, but we mostly just snacked on it.  It is SO good!

If you’ve never tried making your own granola, you really should!  It’s easier than you think – and nowhere near as messy as I feared it would be.  And I also like that I can pick my own ingredients!

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