Please ignore the terrible turquoise color cast in this picture. I didn't have a chance to edit it out...plus I am not very good at editing. :/
The husband loves sugary, kiddie cereals; His eyes light up when Cocoa Pebbles, Cap'n Crunch, and Lucky Charms go on sale at the grocery store, hoping that I'll throw a box or two in the cart. I, on the other hand, didn't eat those types of cereals growing up, so I never developed a taste for them. In fact, I think most sugary cereals are disgusting and hate buying them for the husband.
What I did eat as a kid was Cheerios, Rice Krispies, shredded wheat (not the frosted kind!), oatmeal and granola. Now as an adult, I don't have time to sit down for breakfast, so I usually eat in my car while I drive to work or I eat in the teacher's lounge once I finally get there, so I like food that is easily portable and doesn't require a lot of dishes or utensils. One of my favorite breakfasts is granola stirred into low-fat or Greek yogurt.
My inner hippie wanted to try her hand at making homemade granola; I scoured the internet looking for recipes and found a ton! Eventually, I decided to just use the basic ideas from two different recipes, and add in the flavors I wanted, creating my own Cherry Almond Granola.
Cherry Almond Granola
Source: inspired by Annie's Eats and Alton Brown, among others
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 1/4 cups dried cherries
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees.
Combine the oats, rice cereal, cherries, coconut, and almonds in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredient mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine, ensuring the oat mixture is evenly coated.
Pour the granola onto two baking sheets (I lined mine with parchment to make cleanup easy), spreading into an even layer on each sheet.
Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until nearly dried. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom every time you stir, as well, to ensure they both cook evenly.
Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container or ziplock bag.