Homemade Granola Rocks!

Happy Labor Day!  Today I wanted to share my version of homemade granola.  My husband loves granola, but most of the boxes I look at are really high in sugar and calories, without contributing enough protein or fiber.  So, we came up with everything we wanted to include and tried quite a few different combos till we found the best!  My husband wanted to make sure it had "clumps" in it, so after trial and error, we found a preparation that gives great "clumps" :)

Makes 26 1/2 cup servings
4 C Oats (or 3 C oats + 1 Cup All Bran Cereal)
1 C sliced almonds
1/2 C whole amonds
1 1/2 C walnuts
3/4 C pumpkin seeds
1 C Shredded Coconut
1 1/2 C Wheat Bran
1/4 C Ground Flax Seed
1/2 C + 2 Tbsp Sugar Free Syrup
1/4 C + 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar (or spenda Blend)
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 C Dark Chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees
First mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats through flax seed)
I was watching this cute boy while making granola, he was a great helper!  This is a fun one to make with kids!  They can help add all the dry ingredients and stir.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar free syrup, brown sugar or blend, Vanilla, and cinnamon. 

 Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then take off heat.

 Pour liquid over dry ingredients, a little at a time and stir to combine well. 

To get the best clumps, pack granola one cup at a time into a measuring cup, then dump onto baking trays (spray trays with cooking spray to avoid sticking)

 This recipe makes about 3 cookie sheets worth.  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, stirring at 10 minutes.

If you are a chocolate lover, top each pan with 15-16 large dark chocolate chips, then stick back in oven for 2-3 minutes until melted. 

Stir pan again when chocolate chips are melted, and let rest until cool.  Store in an air tight container.

Its amazing, enjoy!  For 1/2 cup,  it is 174 calories, 7 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein!  It is full of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids as well - everything good for you!  :)

Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

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