Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Granola

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Alright, so I think that I am granola obsessed – I mean considering three of my last posts have been about granola in some form or another… I think it is entirely fair to call a spade a spade and officially label me as obsessed.

Well, I hope the tales of my granola escapades haven’t begun to bore you just yet because today I am bringing you yet another granola recipe… ta daaaaa! Except – hold the phone – this time the granola isn’t in bar form… so if you want to get technical about it, this is really an entirely different subject matter…. well, sort of 😉

That’s right – this time I am serving you up with a recipe for some regular ol’ granola! Hang on – I think labeling this granola as “regular” is actually a bit of an insult because it is so incredibly delicioussss and wonderful that it can hardly be described as just “regular.” So scratch that regular description and exchange it for the following…. Today I am serving you up with a recipe for some good ol’ fashioned granola! There we go- so much better!

I mean really, just take a look at these golden brown clusters of crunchy, nutty, granola that has been packed with all kinds of yum to make it taste just like an oatmeal cookie! That’s right everybody – this granola tastes just like a warm, Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookie… seriously, need I say more to get you reaching for your mixing bowl? Well, what if I told you that even though this granola tastes like a delicious oatmeal cookie, it is secretly healthy? I bet now I have your undivided attention.
As a matter of fact, the best thing about this granola may just be how incredibly healthy it is even though its delicious taste would absolutely have you believing otherwise. Now I know some of you must be thinking… “isn’t all granola technically considered a healthy snack?” Now this is a completely valid question, because many people would have you believe that just because there are oats in traditional granola, it is therefore always healthy. However, what is hidden in many store-bought, (and homemade versions of granola for that matter,) is tons of added sugar,  a chunk of butter and is loaded with calories. So I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but that the granola that you love so much – although it might be tasty – there is a very good chance it is really not so healthy for you.

So now that I have officially burst your granola loving bubble… how about some good news! Never fear my friends, I have an amazing lightened up granola that I promise you is just as tasty, (if not even more tasty,) than your usual granola. But how did I do this you ask? Well, by using the natural sweetness of my new favourite ingredient – drumroll for this little gem please…. dates!

That’s right – I used the natural sweetness of dates to make the flavour and the texture of this granola positively irresistible! Now for those of you who have never worked with dates before or even tasted one for that matter, let me first inform you that you have been missing out on this delicious little fruit!

Not only are dates incredibly delicious with their caramel-esque taste and toffee like texture, but they are also incredibly healthy for you! Dates are packed with vitamins/ minerals like calcium and iron, and they are rich with fiber too! They make an absolutely amazing natural sweetener for your homemade goodies so I definitely encourage you to try them out not just in granola, but in your other baked goodies as well!

The natural sweetness and caramely flavour of dates in this recipe is complimented further by the addition of the maple syrup, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and of course pecans! These amazing flavour combinations are what give this granola its incredible oatmeal cookie taste that is sure to satisfy your cookie cravings all in the form of a healthy snack! Because guess what, this granola also contains the goodness of oats, flax and chia! Yay superfoods!

So enough gibber jabber, and more recipe sharing-  I hope you enjoy <3

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Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Granola

Things you need… 
4 oz dates
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 – 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
(depending on how much spice you like – I used 1 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
pinch sea salt

2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup flax seeds (or ground flax)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/4 cup raisins

How to make… 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Place the dates in a bowl of hot water, cover with plastic wrap and let them hydrate for 10 minutes. Strain the dates and place in a food processor; grind the dates until they are pureed and sticky. **Hydrating the dates in the warm water will help to soften up the dates so they are easier to process in your blender or food processor and I find it helps improve the flavour. **

In a large mixing bowl, combine pureed dates, maple syrup, honey, molasses, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt until well combined. Stir in flax and chia seeds until they are coated in the wet ingredients. Pour in oats, coconut, pecans and raisins – mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined and the dry ingredients are well coated and sticky.

Spread the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, being sure to mix the granola with a fork 3-4 times throughout the baking process – this will ensure even baking/crisping.

** Note: Keep a close eye on your Granola for the last 10 minutes that it is baking to make sure it does not burn. Granola can burn very quickly and take it from somebody who has had first hand experience with this – there is nothing worse than when your burn your granola! **

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So there it is! My recipe for the healthiest and move delicious granola I have ever tasted! This recipe is definitely a must-try if you are looking for healthy snack options for your day to day.

This granola is so good on its own that it doesn’t need the extra sugar and butter to add flavour. The natural sweetness from the dates, maple syrup and coconut in combination with the amazing spices makes for such a flavourful and delicious granola – you will never know that it is healthy!

For those of you who are worried about the texture of this granola despite the lack of butter, let me put your reservations to rest and assure you that this granola comes out incredibly crunchy with nice big chunky clusters of granola goodness. I personally hate when granola comes out too crumbly and crummy, so if you are like me and like a nice chunky granola… this recipe will definitely make you happy!

This homemade granola takes no time at all to whip up, and is so much better than what you can buy at your local grocery store, so I really encourage you to give it a try!

Happy Baking!

KP xoxo

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