Sustainable eating is all about trying to reduce the use of processed foods. I am trying more and more to get into the habit of washing out jars (which once contained processed foods from factories) and taking them with me to the local health food store (in a reusable bag), where I weigh them at the cash register at the front of the store, fill them with bulk honey, oil, grains, nuts, and legumes, and then ask the cashier to subtract the original weight of the containers from the filled weight to figure out what to charge me. By doing so, I am reducing paper and packaging waste, reducing the use of fossil fuels used to run the factory where they package such products, and saving money. Perhaps you could make it your new year's resolution to seek a store where you can buy bulk ingredients and start following my lead, if you do not already shop in this sustainable way.
I purchased most of the ingredients I used in this granola in bulk. By making your own granola instead of purchasing boxed cereal, you can not only reduce the waste and fossil fuel usage associated with the ingredients you use for the granola, but also the paper waste and fossil fuel usage associated with the production of boxed cereal. Think in terms of the fossil fuels used to operate the factory and to transport the food to the warehouse, then to the store. You are cutting out a bunch of middlemen who use Earth's precious resources. Furthermore, this granola has to be better for you and your children than processed cereal, which is loaded with sugar and goodness knows what else! Feed this to your children when they are young, so that they develop a taste for a nutritious breakfast that is not overly sweet, before their tastebuds have the opportunity to become contaminated by those sugary cereals they will undoubtedly become exposed to as they make their way in the wide world. Try eating this granola in a bowl with coconut milk that comes in a carton (unless you have access to coconut milk straight from the coconut, which would be even better!) for a vegan breakfast.
4 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup flaxseed meal
2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
2 TBS chia seeds
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/3 cups slivered almonds
2/3 cups maple syrup
½ cup walnut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees convection bake or 375 degrees regular bake. Mix dry ingredients (everything except maple syrup and walnut oil) together in large bowl. Pour into rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven, stirring every 5 minutes, until ingredients start to brown, about 15 minutes total.
Stir maple syrup and walnut oil together with a fork. Pour over dry ingredients in baking sheet, stirring to coat as much as possible. Put in oven and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the golden stuff goes to the bottom layer and the top layer is untoasted ingredients. It is done when it is all golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet. If desired, stir in dried fruit. This is also delicious in a bowl with fresh fruit. I had some this morning with raisins, sliced banana and diced pear, along with coconut milk. Yum!