I have been knee deep in granola research. I’ve sent emails. I’ve sampled. I’ve called. I’ve even dragged people into my kitchen and forced them to make granola while I sit taking notes, asking questions, threatening them with a fork.  After weeks of munching…I mean researching, I can now share my results with you.

The first granola recipe is from my bestest of besties– Josie.  15 years ago my husband came home from school and said, “there is a girl in my study group that is so much like you…it’s weird.” I thought nothing of it for months. And then I met her. Josie is the best kind of friend because she reminds me of my better self. She’s all the things I think I am…only better. And do you want to know the kicker about Josie? She would totally disagree with me.  She’s a kooky girl and the best kind of friend a girl could ask for. (Oh crap. I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Sorry Winston.)

I could go on and on about cheesy friend stuff but let’s pause and talk about Josie’s cooking habits. Josie is a healthy girl. Her kitchen is stuffed with fresh fruits and veggies, carrot juice and black beans. No joke. She’s refined this recipe over the years and is happy to let us all benefit.  Without further adieu…

Josie’s Healthy Granola; Sugar Free Granola
aka Deceivingly Healthy Granola

In a big soup pot, melt 4 Tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 8 cups old fashioned oatmeal. Stir and toast for about 20 minutes until fragrant. Stir often as it can burn easily.

Remove oats from heat and add the following:
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flax seed (whole or ground)
2 cups chopped nuts
1 teasp. vanilla
1 teasp. cinnamon
1/2 teasp. nutmeg
1/2 teasp. salt

Mix well. Drizzle with 1/3 cup honey (warmed in microwave so its easily drizzled) and mix well again. Spread granola over two cookie sheets. Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees F. Halfway through cooking, switch both pans to the other’s original place so that sheets bake evenly. After cooking, add 2 cups of any favorite dried fruit, favorite combination (golden raisins, dried cherries,apricots, pineapple, craisins).

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