i am not exactly what you would call an earthy-crunchy gal.  but i do love me some granola.  i can eat it by the fist-full.  okay, closer to giant bowl-full.  it is the perfect little snack on the go.  i like it dry, right out of a baggie, mixed with yogurt, sprinkled on oatmeal, baked into cookies, formed into bars, or covered in coconut milk.  yum.  i am especially in the mood for granola this week since we are doing a lot of outdoor activities and i need to keep healthy and tasty snacks handy.  this preggo lady needs to eat.

my favorite store-bought brands are kind healthy grains vanilla blueberry clusters with flaxseed and bakery on main apple raisin walnut granola.  really, you can't go wrong with any of the varieties from either of these brands.  so good and flavorful and healthy and crunchy and yummy.  and, gluten-free.  these are my go-to bags of granola.  but sometimes, a girl just wants it homemade.  when the mood strikes, i will whip up a batch of some crunchy granola at home.  here is how i like to create crunchy granola using some of my favorite ingredients that i can easily swap out depending on my mood.  throw in whatever you like!

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ingredients

6 cups rolled oats [amaranth, millet, quinoa are nice additions too]

2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (i like a lot more)

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons melted butter

celtic sea salt

1/2 to 1 cup honey, maple syrup, or molasses

1 cup  dried unsweetened shredded coconut, optional

1 cup of dried fruit, i like a mix of cherries and blueberries

method

preheat oven to 350 degrees. in a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, butter, and sweetener. place on a sheet pan and put in oven. bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.  remove pan from oven and stir in dried fruit and ginger. sprinkle with salt to taste.  cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator.

munch and crunch away!