When I was a growing up, my mom had this amazing granola recipe that she would make around the holidays. The house would smell so good and the granola would be devoured within three days…or maybe two. It was one of those things that tasted so good, you just kept eating it until you finish your third bowl and suddenly realized what you had done.
About a year ago, I dusted off the recipe and decided that I was going to master a healthier version of the original that still tasted amazing but didn’t have the obscene amount of sugar (which, no doubt, was the reason the stuff was like crack when I was growing up).
With a little trial and error, I was able to perfect the recipe and now get to see our kids light up when they smell it baking. I love those memories and traditions that are passed down, and this is one I can make more often since it is loaded with fiber and healthy fat with just enough sweetness to seem like a treat.
It makes a great gift by pouring some in a cute mason jar and adding a bow. However, be sure to make a double batch or you may not want to give it away!
5-6 cups old fashioned oatmeal
2 cups unsweetened coconut
¾ cup ground flax seed
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
1 tsp sea salt
1-14 oz can organic sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup raisins (optional)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional but highly recommended!)
In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, ground flax seed, nuts, salt and sweetened condensed milk and mix well. (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook attachment).
In a small pan or bowl, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and mix well, then pour over oat mixture and blend together.
Spread granola over a shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick or covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 300 degrees for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. I use a spatula to “stir” which works well to move the granola from the edges in and the middle out. Cereal will be just starting to turn golden brown when it is done.
Remove from the oven and let cool 20 minutes. Stir in raisins and/or chocolate chips if desired. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
It is delicious sprinkled over yogurt, in a bowl with milk, or even eaten plain!