When I eat granola or trail mix, it seems like I can never eat enough. I’ll just keep eating until the bag (or bowl) is empty…oops ;). That’s one reason why I don’t keep large amounts of granola sitting around – I can’t trust myself! It’s also why I keep my sour punch straws in the cabinet and not out with all the other candy in plain sight…but sometimes, you just gotta live a little and eat that enormous bowl of granola or giant pack of sour punch straws =). Today was one of those days.

Last weekend, Jordan and I went to Jason’s Deli to use up a gift card that we’d had for a while. And then we got ready to pay and Jordan whipped out his credit card and the cashier swiped it before I could get a word out to remind him to use the gift card. Operation use-up-the-gift-card = FAIL! haha Oh well. I got the salad bar – like I always do- and for dessert I topped my ice cream with some granola. It was some really good granola that I’m sure was laden with fat and sugar but it was delicious nonetheless. I realized it had been too long since I’d made any homemade granola. I’ve made several different versions in the past but this one may be my new favorite. It has some of your usual suspects: oats, nuts, and dried fruits, but it also has coconut extract and almond extract. The extracts really help boost the flavor, allowing you to keep the sugar and butter to a minimum. If you’re a granola fan, you should definitely try this recipe. Enjoy!

Fruit and Coconut Granola
2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1-3/4 cups sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey)
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick spray.
2. In large bowl, combine agave, melted butter, applesauce, almond extract, coconut extract, and vanilla. Add in oats, almonds, coconut, quinoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until evenly coated.
3. Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown – stirring once.
4. Remove granola from oven and stir in dried fruit.

Categories: Breakfast, Snacks

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