Sweet and crunchy, honey glazed, with hints of brown sugar and cinnamon. Cranberries, almonds, and, of course, oats star in this granola. But there’s a hidden player in the mix that you will love–finely grated carrots!
So, as it goes, we’re settling into this new school routine. Unfortunately for a lot of people, me included, like my hand is shooting way into the air on this one folks, part of that routine becomes buying expensive, not great boxed snacks. Ugh. You and I both know just how quickly that adds up. Not exaggerating, my boys would sit down and eat an entire box of fruit and grain bars in one sitting if I would let them and then move on the next thing in the pantry. Kids are like swarms of locusts. They devour everything in their paths. Or if it can’t be eaten, destroy everything in their paths. Okay it might sound harsh, but it’s true.
It’s hard-wired into their systems before they are even born.
Boom. Kids destroy everything in their path.
But, let’s be honest, they aren’t the only ones with the prepackaged bar problems, I wholeheartedly admit that I fall into this trap too. (But usually I hide in the pantry closet as I eat mine so that the kids don’t find me, because then they all want one and then the box is just gone.)
Today this cranberry almond granola, we’re going to say it’s mostly for us. It’s good to treat yourself. It’s healthy, full of fiber and healthy fats, granola delivers energy that lasts and fills you up. It’s delicious, honey roasted oats, almonds, and cinnamon roasted carrots with cranberries. Nuff said. It’s ridiculously expensive to buy at the store, but a snap to make at home at a fraction of the cost. Pour some milk over it and call it cereal. Use it as a topping for your favorite yogurt. Mix it into a bowl of fresh fruit.
But you know what’s also great to do with it? Make it into healthy granola cookies that your whole family will love! Spoiler alert: My healthy granola cookie recipe is coming next week. So stay tuned. If you think you won’t remember to come back and check it out, just subscribe to my email updates through the subscription bar at the top.
This cranberry almond granola starts off with finely grated carrots. Grating the carrots is seriously the hardest part of this recipe, but it’s so worth it. Carrots are a great ingredient for a granola because they have natural sugar in them and are high in vitamin A. I tossed them in a tablespoon of brown sugar and cinnamon, to tone down their orangeyness so they wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Because the carrots have a great deal of moisture, this granola cooks like Ramone drives on the disney movie Cars, “low and slow”. This helps draw out all the moisture to get a great toasted crunch on the almonds and oats. The dried cranberries aren’t added in until over halfway through, because added too soon, dried fruit can blister, blacken, and burn, making your granola a bitter mess. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What’s your favorite way to eat granola?
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Heat the oven to 285 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the grated carrots, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add to this the oats and almonds. In a small bowl, combine the honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla, stirring to combine. (It will still be a little bit separated, the goal is just to get them as mixed as possible.) Pour over the oats, almonds, and carrots, mixing until everything is well coated.
- Spread evenly over a baking sheet.
- Bake at 285 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove and stir.
- Bake for another 15 minutes, then remove, add cranberries to the mixture, stir and return to the oven for another 20 minutes and a total bake time of 50 minutes. The granola should be lightly toasted and brown all over.
- Let cool completely before storing.
I hope that you will love this easy granola, remember to come back next week for the recipe for these fabulous Healthy Granola Cookies. I’ve made them twice to send to school with my kids, but they haven’t made it yet because they’ve been devoured before they are even cool enough to put in the cookie jar.