This is a SUPER easy recipe! If you've got kids, it's something you can make together...or simply supervise and let them do all the work! It's great for a snack...and even better as a hot or cold cereal! Feel free to add more to it...I kept it simple because I wasn't sure how it would turn out the first time. I liked it so much that I ended up making another batch 5 days later (because I ate it all)!
7 cups of whole grain oats (not the instant kind)
3/4 cups of sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of oil (olive or vegetable)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
3/4 cups of raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cups of sweetened coconut (found in the baking section near the chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (oats, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon). In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour over the oats and gently stir with a wooden spoon until everything is coated. Spread evenly in a cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes - this step is VERY important. If you don't stir, the granola may burn or stick to the pan. Cool on a wire rack. The granola mixture will harden as it cools. Let cool for about 30 minutes then use a spatula to lift and break up the granola. Pour it back into your mixing bowl and mix in the raisins and cranberries.
Store in an airtight container and consume within 7 days, otherwise it may go bad due to the oil used to prepare it. You can also freeze the granola for preservation.
Other variations include adding dried mangoes (which is what I did), banana chips, flax seed, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and other kinds of nuts. It tastes great sprinkled over vanilla yogurt (or your favorite flavor) too!
I was kinda shocked that while eating it as a cold cereal, it doesn't get soggy!!