Here is a healthy and easy to make granola. Serve with fresh fruit or make it into a tasty treat when served over some banana ice cream.
Granola (from Straight Up Food)
- ½ cup water
- 7 to 8 Medjool date or 14 t o16 Deglet Noor dates, pitted
- 1½ teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 to 2 vanilla beans)
- 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
- Place the water, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a blender and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften). Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat and set them aside.
- Combine the oats, raisins, and almonds (if using) in a medium bowl.
- Blend the dates, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. Pour this into the bowl of oats, raisins, and nuts, and stir well.
- Spread the granola evenly between the two baking sheets, breaking up any large clumps. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven, and shuffle the granola around with a spatula. Return to the oven (but switch racks for even browning) for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned.
- Completely cool the granola for maximum crunchiness. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to preserve freshness.
Juice instead of water: For added sweetness and flavor, try substituting the water with any unsweetened fruit juice (like orange, tangerine, pineapple, or apple).
Nut options: Any kind of chopped or small nuts would work here, like walnuts, pecans, or even sunflower seeds.