For years I have been a fan of Trader Joe’s vanilla almond granola. It is so yummy, crunchy…almost perfect. It is a little bit too sweet for me. Not too much that it stops me from still loving it, but something I finally decided to improve upon and make my own.
One of my regular breakfasts is blueberries and nonfat Greek yogurt. Sprinkling some granola on top just makes it so much better. I love the added crunch, hint of sweetness and added protein from the almonds….and a little fiber from the oats. If you make your own granola you can control the sweetness and the added fat.
I went to work and created my own version of this tasty granola. Vanilla is one of my favorite ingredients. I rarely, okay NEVER, measure it. Vanilla just gets poured into whatever I am making until I feel like it has enough. That pretty much always means a lot by most people’s standards. I also added some almond extract to enhance the flavor. I used almond slivers, but you could easily use sliced almonds or chopped almonds. It’s a personal textural issue!
Now I thoroughly enjoy granola with dried fruit, coconut and certainly some dark chocolate chunks. This recipe, however, does not contain any of that. I wanted to keep it simple and not distract from the vanilla and almond flavors. If you want to add something else to it, go for it. That is again the joy of making your own granola, you control everything. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did (as in the boys had two servings of yogurt with granola for breakfast and wanted more)!
Vanilla Almond Granola
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
4 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Combine the coconut oil, honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan on the stove at medium heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
Stir together the oats and almonds in a large bowl. Stir the vanilla and almond extracts into the liquid mixture and pour over the oats and nuts. Mix until well combined and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes.
Yields approximately 6 1/2 cups
that looks just lovely! Huge granola fan here and can never have too many recipes. Am also a fan of vanilla. Recently bought a 1-pound bag of vanilla beans from an amazon.com supplier for a small fortune (but still economical consider how much you pay for the beans at the store) and have enjoyed making my own extract with vodka. Also tried sherry after seeing it done on another blog. Next stop: bourbon. Am with you that vanilla is tops 🙂
I can never have too much vanilla. I was lucky enough to get two vanilla beans at a White Elephant party recently. Kind of odd since most people want that…long story short is her husband works at the Kroger supplier here in town and they get all the coffee and spices dirt cheap. I will be making vanilla liqueur with my beans. I love Licor 43 and look forward to trying my own. How was the Sherry?
Wonderful, but definitely makes a statement. Cracks me up someone considers vanilla beans white elephants. At $11 a piece? (what I saw them priced at a gourmet store. Would never pay that much) Come on! Glad you scored.
guess what I did after reading your comment? Bought a bottle of Licor 43 🙂 It’s lovely. Came with a (miniscule) recipe book and I tried the Caipirinha today: muddling 3 wedges each lime and orange, shaken with ice, 0.5 oz licor 43 and 1 oz Cachaça, then strained. Very tasty. Though one was not enough 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!
Glad you liked it! One of my classic favorites is Licor 43 and Diet Coke. Simple, but a nice grown up vanilla Coke! I also had it with orange juice and maybe cream, can’t remember exactly but it was like a creamsicle. Enjoy experimenting. I just started my homemade vanilla liqueur a couple days ago, smelling yummy so far.
a new recipe–vanilla coke with a kick 🙂 Thanks! Can’t wait to try.
Homemade granola is the best! Love all the flavors.
It’s funny: it makes such sense to add vanilla, but I never have in the past. I love it so much (perhaps not as much as you though :D) that I’l definitely try next time. And the perfectly golden chunks in your granola look amazing!
Enjoy! I love vanilla in so many things, but the granola is definitely one of my favorites.
Just made it (though I didn’t have coconut oil annoyingly). It’s AMAZING!! Best granola yet – thank you so much 🙂
So glad you liked it! This is definitely one of my favorite granolas!
Homemade Granola is awesome. I love them as a snack and sometimes for breakfast. I tend to eat and eat them the whole day long. Thanks for sharing!
I certainly did snack on this granola quite a bit! A handful here and there and before we knew it everything was gone!
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