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)!
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