How to make homemade Vanilla Almond Granola

My kitchen experiments usually start with a craving that possesses me insatiably. I obsess over photos and recipes online, I look into how I can substitute ingredients with what I already have at home and I dream about the magic of turning boring ingredients into bites of bliss.  

Homemade Granola paired with yogurt, berries, bananas and honey

This weekend's obsession was homemade granola. Rajesh and I were casually chatting about how he liked to pair granola clusters with some almond milk for breakfast. Hours after that conversation, my brain still wouldn't stop thinking about the crunchy bites of delicious granola. 

I did a bunch of research online for the easiest, most fool-proof method and came up with a recipe largely based on this one. 

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats

  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

  • 1/8 cup raisins

  • 1/8 cup cranberries

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)

  • Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/6 cup canola oil

  • 1/8 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Take two tablespoons of oatmeal and grind it to a fine powder
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (oatmeal, ground powder from step 1, almonds, raisins, cranberries, brown sugar, salt)
  3. In a separate bowl, warm the canola oil and maple syrup for 30 seconds in the microwave
  4. Stir in vanilla extract and whisk the oil, maple syrup and vanilla thoroughly
  5. Pour this mixture over the oat and nut mixture until everything is coated completely
  6. Take a baking sheet and spread flat, pressing down on the mixture with your hands or back of a spoon
  7. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown - do not stir while baking
  8. Cool completely (don't rush this!)
  9. Break into little clumps with your hands and store in an airtight container

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait 

I'm a sucker for yogurt parfait! I started with plain yogurt and topped it with honey, granola, bananas and a blended yogurt/berry mixture. Make the granola in batches and fix yourself a gourmet breakfast in under 2 minutes - yum!