Most days I don't put much thought into snack-time. My son doesn't really care much for fancy dips or sauces, and he isn't picky, so I pull out some yogurt, a jar of homemade applesauce, or slice up a red bell pepper and call it good. Like my son, my snack-time favorites are usually pretty simple. A handful of ripe cherry tomatoes, a spoonful of peanut butter, or some lightly salted almonds (which the dentist has officially banned me from forever.)
My husband on the other hand is very set in his ways when it comes to snacking and his tastes are nothing like mine (which was only reaffirmed during our recent trip to Arkansas.) His ultimate snack includes something sweet, crunchy, and salty— which would explain why he's huge fan of the trail mix I had been making before I broke another tooth.
As you can tell, our snacking habits don't exactly line up, which means when we travel I have to pack separate snacks for everyone. It's a bit of a hassle, but it looks like we've finally found a snack we can all agree on. While we were shopping for vacation snacks my husband saw me looking over various healthy(ish) options (because a girl can't live off of yogurt alone) and noticed I had tossed some granola in the cart. He questioned whether one bag was enough for the entire week. Which only left me confused, it takes me weeks to finish off a bag.
Then he said the magic words... words I never thought I would hear from my non-hippy food eating, meat and potatoes loving husband. He said "well I'd like some to, you know." No husband, I did not know because you always make fun of my part-time vegetarian, healthy eating, hippy ways (he calls pretty much everything I eat hippy food.)
I've loved this man for over half my life and he still manages to surprise me sometimes.
So a second bag was added to the already overflowing cart. After he and my son finished off both bags in a matter of days he turned to me and asked me if I would make some more when we got home (because it was kinda silly to spend $10 on two bags of granola.)
In that, at least, we are in full agreement.
When we got home I pulled out the last of the honey my aunt and uncle gave me at Christmas and got to work. I managed to learn something new while fiddling around in the kitchen— egg whites are the key to making clumpy granola. The protein helps bind everything together. If you don't eat eggs or are allergic to them, feel free to leave them out. You'll still have tasty, albeit somewhat less clumpy granola, it will be ready in under an hour, and it will be better than anything you'll find in the store.
Honey Walnut Granola
makes 8 - 10 servings
½ cup honey
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. In a saucepan, set over medium heat, combine honey, brown sugar, unsalted butter, and vanilla extract. Cook until the butter has melted, then pour over oats. Add walnuts, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate bowl use a whisk to beat egg whites until foamy, then add add them to the granola mixture. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread mixture in a single thin layer, making sure to press it flat with a spatula.
- Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through. When the granola has finished baking, allow it to cool to room temperature before breaking into chunks.
Store finished granola in an air-tight container. It will remain fresh for at least two weeks, although ours never stays around that long.
If you want to add to this recipe, keep in mind that nuts and seeds should be added before baking and things like dried fruit or chocolate should be added once the granola is completely cool.
To make this snack easily portable, take a Wide-Mouth Pint Size Canning Jar, fill it half way with granola, and drop a cup of yogurt on top. Greek yogurt containers from Chobani or Oikos won't fit, but most of the smaller yogurt containers will work just fine. You can seal the jar with a Plastic Storage Caps to make things easy or use the two-piece lid and ring that come with the jar.