Chunky Granola with Dried Fruit and Nuts

Are you looking for a way to make breakfast easier on busy mornings? Try this delicious make-ahead granola that tastes great as a breakfast cereal with milk, as a topping for yogurt parfaits or as a grab and go breakfast in a baggie. Not only will this recipe make mornings easier, you will be increasing your intake of whole grains and fiber!

 

Chunky Granola with Dried Fruit and Nuts

Ingredients:

½ -1 cup honey or maple syrup
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon and/or other spices as desired
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (can use certified gluten-free)
½ cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup flax meal or whole flax seeds
2 cups whole almonds, chopped coarsely (you can add any type of nut you like)
½ cup cashews, raw (can omit if desired or replace with other nuts)
1 cups raisins or other dried fruit, chopped

Instructions:

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, almond extract and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in oil. Fold in all dry ingredients except fruit and stir until thoroughly coated.
3. Transfer mixture to prepared sheet and spread across sheet into thin, even layer about 3/8 inch thick. Using stiff spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact. Bake until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
4. Remove granola from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size. Stir in raisins or other dried fruit. (Granola is best stored in airtight container)

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