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Last night I decided I was going to have a breakfast craving this morning for a slightly sweet, crunchy, nutty, breakfast-y, anytime snack.  I threw the ingredients together, baked it while listening to the news, and had it cooled and stored in about an hour.  I haven’t made this for months and I just remembered why it should ALWAYS be stocked in my pantry.

Measure (very generously) and mix together in a large bowl:

8 cups rolled oats (or a combination of oats and rolled wheat.)
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts (sliced almonds, pecans or walnuts)

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Measure the following into a medium microwave safe bowl and heat them together for about a minute.  (I am more conservative with these measurements.)

½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup oil
½ tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla (I add a little almond flavoring!)

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide between 2 large sheet cake pans and bake at 325 degrees for at least 30 minutes or until toasted to your liking, stirring every few minutes and rotating oven racks.

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Add raisins or other dehydrated fruits, if desired, after toasting.  Cool and store in an airtight container.  Keeps for months!  Serve for breakfast as cereal with milk or sprinkled on a frozen fruit smoothie drink.  For dessert, use it as a topping on yogurt or ice cream.  There’s no more delicious way to add whole grains to your diet!  For gift giving, spoon granola into a cellophane gift bag and tie with a ribbon.

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Just a note about ingredients:  I buy the rolled wheat, wheat germ and coconut in the bulk bins at the grocery store (WinCo carries a huge selection for bulk storage.  It’s AWESOME!  If you have one near you, you really need to check it out!)  You can buy the oats in a large (25 or 50 lb bag) there as well.  I like to keep a large supply on hand for breads cookie baking, and making my granola soap, too.  I stock coconut, sunflower seeds, and almonds in airtight containers in the freezer–they keep for months–so they’re available anytime I have a craving for granola.

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