Well the weather here in Colorado has really gone to the pits. I think I’m sulking more this time around because we had a few weeks of incredible weather and I forgot that the end of February and March are our snowiest months. It has certainly proved true this past week. We were walloped with a good 12 inches of snow over the weekend and are expected to get more starting later today and through the weekend. The one positive part of all this snow is that it’s the perfect time to turn on the oven and bake! Last Sunday I made what is probably my best batch of granola yet, Blueberry Almond Granola!
The inspiration for this granola came from a sample of blueberry almond granola that I had at Whole Foods. Isn’t it the best thing ever when stores are handing out free samples of food? Especially when that food is something as tasty as granola! Well, I immediately fell in love with this crunchy, blueberry, and almond flavored granola and knew that I had to figure out how to remake it.
As much as I love Whole Foods and all the amazing things that come out of the store, it’s not always the most wallet friendly place. I suppose that’s why it’s often referred to as Whole Paycheck. A small bag of granola can run you $6.00 or more…I can make two or three bags for that price! The other problem I have with store bought granolas is that they are usually loaded with an overabundance of sugar. This Whole Foods sample was no exception. I’m not going to lie about how much I loved it’s sweetness, but it probably wouldn’t make the healthiest snack or breakfast. This granola would be better served on top of ice cream as a dessert.
To make my Blueberry Almond Granola something that I could enjoy mixed in with my morning yogurt or grab a handful of for an afternoon snack, I cut back on the sugar as much as I could, but still kept it sweet enough so that I didn’t feel like I was just eating a handful of toasted oats and nuts. The dried blueberries added a great berry flavor and sweetness to the granola as well.
What I loved most about this granola was the addition of almond extract. I can’t get enough of baked goods that use almond extract! I think I love it more than vanilla! Well, I added a generous amount to mine and it gave the granola an amazing almond flavor. Paired with the toasted oats, almonds, honey, and blueberries, it instantly became my new favorite! So go ahead and skip buying a bag of pre-made granola at the store and bake up a batch of this insanely delicious Blueberry Almond Granola!
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar, stirring until everything is combined.
- In a small bowl whisk together the coconut oil, honey, 2 teaspoons of almond extract, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet mixture in with the dry and stir everything together with a rubber spatula until it is coated.
- Pour the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into a single layer.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the granola from the oven and toss it around with a spatula so that it browns evenly.
- Place it back in the oven and repeat the process 15 minutes later.
- Bake the granola for a total of 40-50 minutes or until it is golden brown.
- While the granola is baking place the dried blueberries in a small bowl with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and toss them together.
- When the granola is done baking remove it from the oven and stir in the dried blueberries.
- Let the granola cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.