I’ll never buy granola again

Why, oh why did I wait so long to try homemade granola? I had heard it was easy, tasty, and way less expensive, but still I hadn’t tried it.

And then my friend Heidi sent me a jar for Christmas (Christmas being around January 25 for her, but she has a new baby, so we’ll give her a break on that). Her card said she thinks of me every time she makes it because its main ingredients — oats, flax, almonds, canola oil — are all heart-healthy all-stars. Scott and I stood in the kitchen that night eating it out of the jar. With our hands. That’s how good it is.

Thank goodness she included the recipe, because the very next day I made a double batch. Heidi said her world feels just a little out of balance if her granola jar is empty. I intend to never let that happen to me.

Heidi’s Granola

2 cups oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey (warmed, so it is thinner and easier to mix)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract

Mix everything together, then spread on a parchment-lined jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, stirring once during baking. Watch at the end to make sure it doesn’t burn – it should be golden brown. Let cool slightly (it will get crispy as it cools, then hard, so don’t wait too long) and then scoop into an airtight container. It will still be warm, so stir a few times in the container so it doesn’t stick together too much, and leave the top off until completely cooled and crisp.

Jen’s favorite way to eat it: In a pretty glass with Greek yogurt and fruit.


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