Loaded Cereal Nut Granola Recipe

Each crunchy, nutty bite of this granola is slightly sweet with a hint of saltiness and sesame. It’s lower in sugar and oil than its counterparts on grocery store shelves, and egg whites are to thank for the coveted clusters. The only hard part to this recipe is deciding which cereal to use… will it be Cinnamon Life? Cocoa Krispies? Honey Nut Cheerios? P.S. Ingredients easily allow for a gluten-free version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups rolled oats Note: quick cooking oats make for bigger clusters than old-fashion
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, Ghee, Coconut oil or Olive Oil (I use butter in mine!)
  • 1 cup crushed cereal –I used Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs and didn’t crush them since they come in small pieces; I think Cinnamon Life, multigrain Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Krispies would be great, too!
  • ¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons pure* vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon pure* almond extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, add more if you like your granola sweeter
  • ¼ cup honey, add more if you like your granola sweeter
  • 1 cup unsweetened, large flaked coconut
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup chopped cashews
  • 1/3 cup white sesame seeds
  • 2 eggs, removed from fridge to allow to get to room temperature

*Look at the ingredients to make sure it’s a pure extract (i.e. extract, alcohol, water). The fake stuff (that has sugar added to make it flavorful) doesn’t taste nearly as good once in a recipe! Organic extracts are usually a safe bet in terms of being “pure”.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper or a Silpat.
  1. Set one sheet of wax paper aside and toast oats on rimmed, unlined baking sheet for 10 minutes. To melt butter, place in small ramekin and place in oven with oats.
  1. While oats are toasting and butter is melting, mix the cereal, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate (smaller) bowl, add the melted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, maple syrup and honey and mix well.

Honey trick: lightly coat measuring cup with oil or cooking spray prior to measuring. This will prevent honey from sticking to the sides and leaving precious flavor behind when pouring into bowl.

  1. After the oats are toasted, add them to the bowl of dry ingredients and give them a quick mix. Then, evenly distribute the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until all of the oats and cereal pieces are coated.

Make sure to get every last drop of the liquid ingredients out of the bowl. Evenly coating the oatmeal is KEY, because lets face it, dry granola tastes like cardboard. Plus no one wants a clump of salt!

  1. Fold in coconut, nuts, and seeds.
  2. Separate the egg whites from yolk, placing the whites in a small bowl. Whisk the whites until frothy; add to the granola and stir to evenly coat.
  3. Line both baking sheets with wax paper and spread the granola on each, leaving as few gaps as possible (if you want bigger clusters!).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the granola, leaving it as in tact as possible. Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and allow granola to cool. Once fully cooled, break into clusters and store in airtight container for about 2 weeks. Enjoy on yogurt, with milk, in cookies, or by itself as a snack!

Recipe by Sophia Al-Banna, RD

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