Granola, also known as crunchies in our household, is a cub favorite. We top it on yogurt (plain Greek), a smoothie bowl, fruit or as cereal with milk.
We feel like granola has a bad rap. Many granolas in the grocery store are full of fat and calories because they are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Making your own gives you the control to remove all the added sugar and stick to the good stuff – protein and fiber.
Grandma DiDi has been making her own granola for ages, oftentimes gifting it to friends and family. This recipe is not only great for kids, it’s also great for parents, and even better packed in a jar and given to a friend.
We started by having Emery help measure out the dry ingredients and pouring them onto a baking sheet. This was extra exciting because we usually pour ingredients into a bowl. While she did that, we mixed together the oil, honey and vanilla and placed on the stove over low heat.
After we poured the oats, seeds, nuts, wheat germ and dry milk on the backing sheet, we had to pause for a “Hooray” on our Learning Tower. This tower has completely changed the way we interact with the cub in the kitchen. It allows her to feel involved and in return, she’s grown confidence and a palate in our kitchen. We HIGHLY recommend you get one!
Back to cooking… hand your little cub a spoon and have them gently stir the ingredients. While they are stirring, gather the spices to add to the mix. The Kitchen Cub takes this step very seriously.
Children learn about the world through their senses, so don’t forget to stop and smell the spices.
After all the dry ingredients are stirred together, stir the wet ingredients from the stove over the dry ingredients. Talk your cub through this step and remind them that what’s on the stove is hot and shouldn’t be touched. They can watch, but can’t touch. Ouch, HOT! Grandma DiDi mixes it all together and pops it in the oven to toast! Yum!
Golden and delicious. After it has cooked for 3 mins, remove, stir and re-spread. repeat this step 3 times. It should cook approximately 10 minutes in total.
It’s still hot, but Grandma DiDi added the dried fruit and mixed it together. Remember to tell your cub they can’t touch. They will burn their paws on the baking sheet!
We poured it over some plain Greek yogurt and added blueberries. Bon Appetite! Speaking of Bon Appetit, this recipe was adapted from their granola recipe.
Simply Granola (Crunchies)
¼ cup canola oil/or coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup(pure)*
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats(not instant)
1/3 cup Pepitas*
1/3 cup walnuts chopped*
½ cup raw almonds* – sliced or slivered
¼ cup wheat germ/or flax meal
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of cloves
1 cup dried fruit *
Optional add ins: sweetened or unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
- Preheat oven 325 F.
- In a small saucepan combine oil, syrup, honey and vanilla. Stir over low heat until combined, about 1 – 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Combine oats, seeds, nuts, wheat germ, dry milk, and spices directly on a large baking sheet. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mix and mix until uniform. Spread evenly in pan.
- Bake for 3 mins, remove, stir and re-spread. Repeat this step 3 times. It should cook approximately 10 minutes in total. WATCH it closely, it can burn easily.
- Remove from oven and mix in fruit and any of the other optional ingredients you’d like to add. Let cool.
*Nuts – substitute any you like
*Fruit – I prefer orange flavored cranberries but anything works
* Sweetening agents can be changed or eliminated – experiment what works for you. Original recipe had both honey and maple.