Making Homemade Granola

The girls seem to appreciate when we prepare more of our own snack foods at home.  Often it's as simple as slicing up an apple.  Or I try to bake more wholesome cookies than we would necessarily buy at the store.  This time, we've been inspired to try making our own granola.  Even if it's not low-fat or low-sugar, I'd still rather feed my kids something like this instead of processed snacks.
To assemble the ingredients, we had to purchase a few things that weren't already in the pantry, such as wheat germ and extra nuts.  This was a good reason to try agave as an alternative sweetener.

We used Mrs. J's recipe from over at The Road Less Traveled.  So, you'll need to visit her on the far side of the mountain for all of the details.  We used 14 of the 16 ingredients in her recipe, leaving out wheat bran and walnuts (used more of other nuts).  I wasn't sure if the agave I bought was actually syrup, so I used mostly maple syrup with just a touch of agave this time.  I also substituted dried cranberries for raisins in half of the batch.
 The girls helped me by mixing chopped nuts and the sweet syrup in with the oatmeal.  They loved the aroma of the coconut oil and cinnamon that I cooked over the stove with the raw sugar and syrup.  I divided the granola into two casserole dishes.
Mrs. J's recipe seemed to make us three pounds of granola, enough to fill three jars.  It has a wonderful flavor and consistency.  I think we may even try a bit more coconut and almonds in it next time.  Making this has helped me overcome my intimidation about recipes like this with so many ingredients.  Now I understand that there are just three main steps:  chopping nuts, melting a syrup mixture, and roasting everything.  One of my daughters has requested that I form the granola into bars.  That's a project for another day.  

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