With the craft show coming up in a few days I’m brainstorming different snacks and such that I can take with me to eat throughout the day. Whatever I take needs to be easy to eat, not messy, and in bite size chunks (from what I’ve heard, it can get messy to try to sit down and eat a meal or even a whole sandwich if your booth is busy). This granola fits the bill perfectly! It is by far the best granola recipe I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot over the years. It’s a great portable whole grain snack on it’s own, in trail mix, as a bowl of cereal, mixed in with yogurt, or topping your morning oatmeal. I’ve even put it on top of baked apples and vanilla ice cream–delicious!
As a random side note, I wanted to include a word about tea. I love tea, and on Saturday I attended a cooking class at Laurel Run Cooking School (definitely check it out if you are in the area, it’s absolutely wonderful) where I learned a fantastic little tidbit about tea–I can make my own! Yes, really! I was very excited to learn this. I’ve been growing herbs all summer, and my mint invaded every corner of the pot it’s planted in. I just don’t use fresh mint all that often (tell me, what do you use it for?), but I learned that I can dry it out just like any other of my herbs and use it for mint tea! If you can’t tell by my use of exclamation points, this is awesome news! Mint tea is very soothing for the stomach and completely caffeine free so I love to have it right before bed.
Even if you don’t grow your own mint, I encourage you to try mint tea anyway. The wonders of tea deserve a post all there own (hint hint for future posts), but I couldn’t help but share what I learned this weekend.
Best Granola Ever
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (add more to taste up to 1 teaspoon)
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup dried fruit and/or nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F. Toss together oats, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour liquid over oats and mix until thoroughly coated. Spread on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Gently stir and flip the granola. Add any dried fruit or nuts (I usually leave these out and just add them in as I want them after the granola is done). Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
Watch the granola carefully during the second bake. Depending on your oven, it can burn very quickly. It will be soft when you take it out, but becomes crunchy as it cools. Once cooled you can crumble it up or break it into larger chunks. I’m throwing some dried cranberries, dried apricots, and cocoa dusted almonds in with mine as a little snack mix for the show.