I adore a good homemade granola! It’s surprisingly easy to make and once you’ve done it yourself, you’ll never go back to the store bought variety!

You probably noticed a lack of posting around here lately… So here’s the deal – Our first round of IVF was a big fat FAIL. I was sporatic in my posting because, quite frankly, I just needed a little time to PROCESS. After a week of devastation, prayer, and asking God what’s up… we’ve pulled ourself up by our bootstraps and are trudging right back along. I am fully confident that God has a plan in all of this and one day we will look back and this period of trial will seem like a “blip” in the grand scheme of things!

I started seeing an acupuncturist a few weeks ago at the request of my IVF doctor (apparently great for blood circulation & stress relief). The acupuncturist wants me to temporarily eliminate a few things from my diet to prep my body for our next round of IVF:

  1. Coffee / Caffeine (Substitute: Caffeine-Free Herbal Teas)
  2. Cow’s Milk (Substitute: Almond Milk)
  3. Gluten

T.O.R.T.U.R.E. (especially the coffee part! I had a killer 5-day withdrawl headache… GRRR)

Anyhow, I don’t have an allergy to any of these things, but the theory is that all of our organs work together and if one system is working at less than 100%, it will effect the other surrounding organs/systems negatively.  So the reason for eliminating these things is because they can be hard for our bodies to digest & if our digestion system is struggling, then so will be our liver & kidneys (both are linked to uterine and egg health – or so I’m told).

What does this have to do with this granola? Well I needed some sort of gluten-free snack for around the house to help ease the torture! And I figured a heaping batch of chocolate filled granola would do just the trick! However, after researching, I’ve seen that there is a controversy as to weather oats are actually gluten free or not. I mean, in their natural form, they are in fact gluten free. The problem is that where they are manufactured is oftentimes in the same facility as wheat and other gluten filled products. So there can be trace amounts of gluten in the packaging etc…

So for those with Celiac disease, I would be sure to purchase specified gluten-free oats! But, for my purposes, a little trace gluten from the regular oats won’t do any harm!

This recipe is an awesome basic granola to keep in your repertoire! It’s perfect as a base for adding in all of your favorite mix-ins. I’m a chocolate lover so, naturally, I went with mini chocolate chips, m&m’s, and mini Rolos.

MAGICAL.

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Easy Basic Granola

Yield: 8 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

Total Time: 40-55 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Basic Granola:
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sliced almonds
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Mix-Ins:
Mini chocolate chips
M&M's
Mini Rolo's
Raisins and/or Chocolate Covered Raisins
Sunflower Seeds
Craisins or other dried fruits

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two 13 x 18 baking sheets with Silpat mats (or parchment paper). Heat coconut oil in microwave safe bowl to liquid form (20-30 seconds). Add the honey and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.

In a separate large bowl: add the oats, almonds, and coconut. Gently toss until combined. Next, pour the coconut oil & honey mixture over the dry ingredients and toss until all the oats are evenly coated. Divide mixture between the 2 prepared sheet pans and spread into an even layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes (stirring often) until the mixture reaches a nice golden color. Remove from oven and allow to cool (stirring occasionally as it cools so it doesn't clump into one big sheet). Once cool add your desired mix-ins and store in an airtight container.

Adapted from: Ina Garten