Nana's Homemade Granola

I grew up eating this granola, so I'm calling it "Nana's Granola," since that is what my children call my mom. This is a yummy, healthy breakfast that my entire family enjoys. I've taken my mom's recipe, and have added a few things, which I'll explain after the base recipe.

Base recipe:

6 cups Oats (old fashioned)
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water

mix ingredients and put in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 300* for 10 minutes. Take out, stir, then bake for 10 more minutes.

My additions:
I play around with this recipe every time I make it.
Some ideas or additions that I have used:
sesame seeds, pecans, almonds, dried blueberries, cherries, apricots, cranberries, and flax seed.

Lately, I use the organic extra-virgin coconut oil to replace the canola oil. This is super healthy! For an explanation on why coconut oil is healthy, visit my very knowledgeable sister-in-law, Robyn's website: Green Smoothie Girl.
**The coconut oil adds a yummy taste, however, it might be too sweet for some. So, I have also done 1/4 cup canola and 1/4 cup coconut.

I add ground flaxseed after I bake the granola. Truth be told, I think my family prefers the flax in the granola. It has a very mild, light flavor and adds a hint of a nutty touch. Obviously this is hard to explain, but I think you'll like it. Especially given the important health factors! The seed is prized for its many vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, the essential polyunsaturated fats that may reduce the risk of heart disease. Flaxseed and ground flax are also rich in fiber and lignans, hormones thought to inhibit breast and prostate cancers.
You can buy the seeds whole and grind them yourself with a grinder, or buy them already ground (look for "flax meal" on the label). It is important to eat the seed grounded. I used to use the whole seed, but found out that the meal's nutrients are easier for the body to absorb.
I also use flax meal in many other recipes. I add it to my green smoothies, pancakes, french toast, muffins, turkey meatloaf, etc. You can pretty much sneak it into anything, and your family doesn't even know that they are getting such great nutrition! :)
images via Martha Stewart

images via Martha Stewart

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