I've fiddled with this recipe at least 4 times now, and after many changes and adaptations I finally have what I was looking for. Sticky, snack ready right out of the bag granola. Think free form granola bars. And it's worth of passing on to y'all!
You see, they crazy people here have a little trip planned this month, a road trip to see the mouse. And in my efforts to reduce the cost of anything, (10 people in Disneyland is a wee bit expensive to say the least!) we always travel with reducing the cost of meals in mind. We picked the hotel that's adjacent to a Quiznos so dinner is a done deal as we roll back into the hotel each night. And thanks to this recipe we have an easy peasy snack food that the kiddos are loving. Yep it has some sugar, but I have to compete with Disney's $6 chocolate covered bananas on a stick and ice cream bars! And when you look through the ingredients, don't tell the kiddos, but look at the good stuff I was able to sneak in, and they are none the wiser!
Did I ever tell you that 2 of my children, Patch and Tess, are on high-fat diets? Good fats mind you, but a it's such a foreign concept to me. I really don't mind the sugars in my kiddo's diets as long as it's not all-the-time consumption. So I love this granola for all it has packed into it, including whole almonds and nuts, and dried fruit. So convenient to throw in my bag as I go out the door, or a squirelly teen to grab out of the fridge. Not that I know nothin' bout no squirrels.
I doubled this recipe, (warning, it already makes a pretty big batch but since I'm just feeding an army I have to make monstrous quantities of everything. So I have about 20 snack-sized baggies of this fabulous goodness ready to go for our trip, hidden actually so they didn't get consumed before we leave! Let's hope it comes in handy on our trip to satisfy their appetites between meals and passes the time in the the lines!
In a large bowl mix together, oats, bran, flax seed, wheat germ, all nuts and dried fruit and salt.
In a sauce pan combine sugar, pancake syrup, honey, vegetable oil and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour over dried mixture of oats and stir to coat all the mixture thoroughly.
Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheet. Bake approximately 15-20 minutes just until mixture starts to turn brown. (Don't cook too long.) Cool on baking sheet and mixture will start to stick together as it cools. After cooled, place individual serving in snack baggies.
|Jude and Tess mixed the dry ingredients together. Make sure you have a dust mop handy if receiving "help" for this part of the process. Notice I use the term "help" in quotes. I also used sunflower seeds and chopped cashew for my cup of nuts. That's just what was on sale at Sprouts this week. Any ol' nuts of your choice will do. Do you have Sprouts in your neck of the woods? I LOVE that store!|
|Then they mixed together the dried fruits. Totally not necessary, but it kept them busy. Again I just used whatever was on sale that week, which included dried apricots, raisins and dried cranberries.|
|Mimi supervises! It's a very important job and someone has to do ti!|
|Bring the sugar mixture to a boil. Note that I double the recipe so this is actually quite a big batch.|
|Pour the sugar mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Put on a cookie sheet and pop it into the oven.|
|After it's cooled, put individual portions snack baggies. If you keep it in the fridge, it gets super hard. Just let it sit out a while to warm back up or pop in in the microwave for a few seconds to get it back to chewy.|
|This recipe makes about 30 individual servings depending on how much you put into each baggie. Warning--it may not last long. It certainly hasn't in my house. But I'm more than happy to try to pack a few more lbs on this handsome young man who was sneaking bites even before it cooled.|