" Home Alone" All the Cereal You Can Eat

Sure, you can buy ready-made "cereal" in boxes from the grocery store, but where's the fun in that? Cook up this healthy concoction, and break free of your dependence on store-bought goods. (Note: Raw ingredients for this recipe may still have to be purchased in stores.)

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, or 1 vanilla bean split in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup cashews, halved
  • 1/2 cup almonds, halved
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax meal, wheat germ, or bran
  • 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.)
  • lots and lots of milk

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 300°F. Combine the maple syrup, honey, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and oil in a small saucepan and set aside.

2. Combine the pumpkin seeds, cashews, and almonds in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast for 5 minutes, stirring and tossing constantly. Add the sesame seeds, coconut, oats, and flax meal; continue toasting until the coconut just begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes.

3. Heat the honey-maple syrup mixture over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling; pour over the toasted ingredients in the saucepan. Add the dried fruit and stir until well coated.

4. Spread the entire mixture evenly over 2 cookie sheets and bake 10-15 minutes. Ensure even browning by rotating the pan and stirring after 5 minutes. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid over browning.

5. Remove from oven. The granola will not be crunchy until it cools off. Store in an airtight container until use.

6. Eat as much as you possibly can, then leave the dishes and go play.

Makes 5-6 cups

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