I always have homemade granola on hand. I'm not sure why, it's probably because my mom always made big batches of granola to keep in the pantry. I'm fairly certain I've never bought granola from a store because I'm so used to making it.
The only problem with granola is that you feel like you are eating something healthy but most granolas are packed with sugar. This steel cut oat granola is only sweetened with dates. Dates are packed with fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese and even more great vitamins.
Swapping rolled oats for steel cut oats creates a crunchy texture packing in even more fiber It is also great for digestion.
For me granola is versatile. I change it up based on what I have in my pantry because I always have some straggling nuts, seeds, and fruits I need to find a use for. As long as you get the proportions right you can really customize it and make it your own.
Preheat oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Soak the dates for 10 minutes in warm water if you do not have a high powered blender. In a blender combine dates, water, almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend into a smooth paste.
Chop your preferred nuts (I used brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans because they are what I had on hand) and combine in a bowl with the oats and seeds (I used chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds). Add in the blended ingredients and stir until well combined.
Spread on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 40-45 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. Watch closely the last 10 minutes as oven temperatures may vary and you do not want it to burn.
Allow to cool completely. Stir in your preferred dried fruit, I had strawberries, coconut, and cacao nibs on hand.
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