Post by: Holly – Hodgson Mill Blogger
Hooray! Spring is here and I couldn’t be happier! I love the daffodils flowering all around my yard, the warm sun and winter-coat-free weather. I love the bluebirds that have come back to my birdfeeder and the cherry and magnolia trees bursting into bloom. I also love the return of plump, red strawberries and raspberries to the produce section of the supermarket and I love being able to make my favorite summer breakfast again – I am a foodie after all.
Back in December I shared my favorite Hodgson Mill winter breakfast, Blueberry Swirl Multi-Grain Hot Cereal with Milled Flaxseed and Soy, that I eat when the weather is cold and I need a hot, healthy start to my day. Well, now that the sun is warming things up and the windows are open, it’s time to switch over to my favorite summer breakfast- a creamy bowl of yogurt topped with a drizzle of honey, a handful of raspberries or strawberries and a generous scoop of the best granola ever- Hodgson Mill Crunchy Cinnamon Wheat Germ Granola.
I used to be naïve about how hard it was to make granola. It seemed like the process would be complicated with all of the ingredients involved and what not. I equated it with cereal – something I don’t make from scratch. So for years, I happily bought a specific brand of granola at the grocery store during the spring and summer months. Until one day, it was gone. I searched the cereal shelves up and down to see if it had been moved, but to no avail. I checked several other grocery stores, but they didn’t carry it anymore either. I tried other brands, but I could never find a good replacement for my favorite granola. It was gone.
So, after several weeks of being discouraged, I decided to try and make some granola for myself. I had everything I needed already in my pantry to match the ingredients in my missing granola, so, all I had left to do was find the perfect recipe. I found iton the back of the box of Hodgson Mill’s Wheat Germ with Cinnamon & Milled Flax Seed. I just mix a few things together and bake. It couldn’t be this easy, could it?.
Well, let me just tell you, my old granola could not hold a candle to my new granola. After a few bites of my freshly toasted combination of coconut, oats, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, honey, Hodgson Mill Wheat Germ with Cinnamon & Milled Flaxseed, and chopped dates – I was completely hooked. Where had this granola been all of my summer mornings?
I have been making this granola recipe now for several years and haven’t looked back. I love the fresh, toasted taste that can only come from baking it in my own oven. I love the cinnamon flavor in each crunchy bite and I love being able to customize the recipe to what I want in it – sometimes I add cashews instead of almonds or dried cranberries instead of dates. Most of all, I love knowing that I’m giving my body a healthy start to my day. The Hodgson Mill Wheat Germ with Cinnamon & Milled Flax Seed alone adds vitamin E (an antioxidant) and the benefits of Omega-3 oils. My favorite summertime breakfast has never tasted so good.
Collect the dry ingredients and mix them together with a spoon in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. That’s as hard as it gets.
Spread the mixture out onto a large, edged baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake it at 325˚F for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
When the granola has reached your desired level of “toastiness” (be sure not to burn it), pull it out of the oven and mix in the dates while it’s still hot. Allow the granola to cool on the baking sheet – about two hours.
Once the granola is completely cooled, store it in a tightly covered container. I like to use Mason jars – they are easy to fill and I can see how much granola I have left, so I don’t run out. This recipe makes a LOT of granola, so I usually need three jars to store it all. I gave one of my jars to a neighbor – she’s hooked now, too.
This granola is a great snack in itself, but I love it on top of my favorite summer breakfast the most. You just can’t beat homemade granola and this recipe for Hodgson Mill Crunchy Cinnamon Wheat Germ Granola is the best. Enjoy!
Hodgson Mill Easy Crunchy Cinnamon Wheat Germ Granola
(makes 8-9 cups)
- 1 cup Hodgson Mill Wheat Germ with Cinnamon & Milled Flax Seed
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1⁄2 cup dry roasted sunflower seed kernels
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 3⁄4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups dried fruit ( I used chopped dates)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the wheat germ, oats, coconut, sunflower seeds and nuts. Stir together. In another bowl, mix together the oil, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture out onto a large parchment paper-lined, edged baking sheet ( a jelly roll pan works great) and bake at 325˚F for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes. When the mixture is sufficiently toasted, remove it from the oven and stir in the dried fruit immediately. Allow the granola to cool on the baking sheet – about two hours. Store the granola in a tightly covered container for up to two months.
Holly’s Favorite Summer Breakfast
- 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1⁄2 cup Hodgson Mill Crunchy Cinnamon Wheat Germ Granola
- 2⁄3 cup fresh fruit
Spoon the yogurt into a bowl. Drizzle honey on top of yogurt. Sprinkle granola on top of honey and add a handful of fresh fruit. Eat immediately and repeat forever after on warm sunny mornings.