I finally did it! I perfected my granola recipe. It's never turned out quite right, but I DID it today!
I wanted to make my own granola for a number of reasons. First, my son Joey has a nut allergy, and most store bought or even bakery-made granola has nuts in it. Second, I am trying to eliminate processed cereals from my kids' diet. I've had them on Kashi brand cereals for a while, which are better than most cereals, but there is still that element of processing that I believe takes away from the healthy benefits of whole grains. This way, I control the ingredients, so I know they're fresh, and it's homemade! So no "extra stuff" - it's real food!
MY HOMEMADE GRANOLA RECIPE
Keep in mind that if you don't have some of these specific ingredients (oats are essential), feel free to substitute. If you want to add nuts - go for it (just try to buy raw or unsalted nuts - in the bakery or bulk section of your grocery store).
Mix together in a bowl:
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup flaked, raw, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup ground flaxseed/flaxseed meal
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seed kernels (pepitas)
1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
In a separate bowl, mix:
2 egg whites
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses (lots of nutrients in molasses: manganese, iron, calcium)
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
3 Tablespoons Canola or Sunflower oil
Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and stir together with a fork.
Dump onto a large cookie sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. Spread mixture out evenly.
Bake in oven at 325 degrees until almost dry and a bit crumbly, about 45 minutes, every so often stirring around the granola, particularly drawing the outer edges (where it cooks faster) in toward the middle, and pushing the middle out to the edges.
Take tray out of oven and let sit on cooling rack or on counter until cool - this will help it to dry further, so it is in crunchy little chunks.
Store in an airtight container for about a week. Enjoy sprinkled on yogurt, as cereal, with milk, soy milk or coconut milk, or eat as a snack as is. Feel free to add in raisins or other dried fruit if you wish.