yummy, yummy granola: recipe

This afternoon Josie and I enjoyed some rare time with just the two of us (go naps!) and whipped up some granola to go with our Brown Cow yogurt (the cream top is so delicious!). This is a great recipe to do with kids since all of the measuring is so approximate (handful of this, dump in some of that...) and it's easy to mix up a big batch. You can also vary the recipe with whatever kinds of nuts, extracts, and dried fruits you like so that every batch is different!

* 6 c rolled oats
* 2 c crisp rice cereal (we use crisp brown rice, or you can use extra oats)
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 c total any combination of the following: maple syrup, honey, or corn syrup
* 1/2 c brown sugar
* 3/4 c vegetable oil (we prefer canola since it provides some omega-3 fatty acids)
* 1 tsp: ground cinnamon or cardamom (optional)
* 1 tsp: vanilla, almond, coconut, or other extract (optional)
* up to 2 c: raisins, craisins, or dried blueberries, or chopped dried dates, apricots, mangos, shredded coconut etc. (optional)
* up to 1 c: chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or pine nuts (optional)
* 1/2 c flax seeds, whole or ground (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Combine the dry ingredients (except sugar) in a large bowl and stir it up. Mix everything else in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat (let it cool a bit first if you're letting a child stir to coat). Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
3. Bake until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through.
4. Let cool and break apart.

We added vanilla and almond extracts, shredded coconut, ground flax meal (gives it a nice nutty flavor) and sliced almonds today. Since our fridge is full of strawberries and bananas we didn't add any other dried fruit. It made a great afternoon snack, too!
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