Our family loves granola and trail mixes. We eat it nearly every day either as a cereal or snack. Our 2 yr. old refers to dried fruits as "candy" and enjoys having it available throughout the day to snack on. You can do a search online and find thousands of pages with recipes for making your own granola. Here is one that is very basic. It contains only a few ingredients which makes it very affordable. I originally found the recipe on Andrea's Recipes Blog. In her recipe she used blueberries for the dried fruit. Our daughter loves raisins, so I am making it with those.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1-1/2 cups dried fruit, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, and blueberries together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture and add the cinnamon. Stir with the silicone spatula or spoon until the mixture is completely coated.
3. Pour onto the prepared baking pan. Bake, stirring about every 5 minutes with the spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store cooled granola in an airtight container.
Trail Mix is a favorite addition to the Granola for making a healthy snack. It is perfect for when out running errands or whenever you need a little "pick me up" during the work day. Often, we will buy the large bags of trail mix in an assortment of varieties. Often the store bought versions are cheaper than mixing a similar version at home. We do sometimes add more of our favorites such as yogurt covered raisins to them. If you have access to dried fruits or the ability to dry your own, you can make the trail mix yourself.
A great way to use the granola is to melt a bit of peanut butter mixed with honey. I don't measure,I just work for a smooth creamy texture that is easy to pour. Pour the peanut butter-honey mixture over your homemade granola. The granola should have just enough of the peanut butter mixture to "glue" the granola together. Press into a small baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. You want to press the mixture firm enough that when the mixture dries,it will hold together. This makes a nice chewy granola bar. Cut the granola into bars and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. The great thing about these bars is that they do not contain all the additives such as high fructose corn syrup that you may be wanting to stay away from.