5 Spice Granola

Where do I start? It’s a long story why I would even try to make granola. I’m not a granola person. I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to taste like. I have this vision that it’s suppose to be chunky or globby (maybe distant Nutri Grain bar memories? or the “cluster” cereals I use to see at the grocery store?), but I’m learning that’s not really the deal. I’ve gotten the hint lately because the 3 yr old absolutely LOVES the granola at our local downtown bakery. I know why he tried it, but that’s another long story. Anyway…theirs is tasty. I still wouldn’t necessarily choose to order it, but the stuff is really good. I can appreciate his love for it. Not too sweet. Ever so slight cinnamon flavor. Lots of interesting nuts and such. Not to mention the huge dried apricots that are included in their version. (I won’t go into yet another long story about a “teaching opportunity” that occurred when there were no apricots in his last order.)

All that being said……Thanks to the bakery I at least had a reference point, and I think our version is pretty darn good! I started with an old recipe from a Peter Rabbit kids cookbook, but of course I adapted it so much it’s barely recognizable. I opted for 5-spice rather than lonely cinnamon because that’s what the kid loves on his apple slices, and I wanted to be just a little different. 🙂

5 Spice Granola
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1½ cups raw mixed nuts and/or unsweetened dried bananas
  • ½ cup mixed seeds
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 TB oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp 5 spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Add mixed nuts and dried bananas to food processor and pulse until chopped.
  3. Add all ingredients to large bowl. Toss to combine.
  4. Pour mixture onto rimmed baking sheet. (parchment paper optional)
  5. Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

The mix of raw nuts and bananas was accidental. It was what I happened to have on hand, but it worked out great. I started this with only 1/4 cup maple syrup. I was on a mission to make a barely sweet granola. Au contraire. We tasted halfway through baking, and the little dude rejected it! This kid doesn’t lie (about food), and I wanted it to actually be edible for those I loved. I bit the bullet and added a normal amount of sweet stuff, and it is currently building a relationship with multiple family members. 🙂 Success!

 

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