Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Simple Homemade Granola

I love granola. It's so easy to make and so good! I haven't purchased cereal from the store in at least a year, maybe longer. It just costs too much and I feel like I don't have any control over what's in it (especially the sugar!). Usually, I make a quick batch on Sunday evenings so we have some ready for the week. And because it's such a flexible recipe, I can change it up a bit for variety.

This version isn't a soaked recipe, so if you're a Nourishing Traditions purist, look the other way! Maybe I'll learn how to do that step later. For all the rest of you who are interested, you can mess with these ingredients as much as you like, so long as you keep the dry and wet ingredient ratios the same. 

Here are some ideas for add-ins that you can choose from: 
• any kind of nut that you enjoy
• seeds such as sunflower, sesame, and flax (add flax after baking)
• coconut, wheat germ, wheat bran
• dried fruits (add after baking)
• olive oil, coconut oil, butter (I've not actually added butter myself)
• maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract

Today, I'm posting a very simple basic recipe so you can start from here...

Simple Homemade Granola

6 cups rolled oats (not quick cook variety)
1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped walnuts (or any nut you like!)
1 cup shredded coconut (I don't like fresh, but toasted it's great)
1 - 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine in a large bowl...

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or you can use coconut oil)
1/2 - 3/4 cup raw honey (adjust to your own taste preferences)
*Note: the more honey you add the stickier the cereal will be and the more 'clumps' you'll have.

Combine in a small pot and heat gently until bubbles begin to form on sides...

Pour warm olive oil and honey over dry ingredients, tossing until well combined...

Spread evenly on two jelly roll pans... 

Bake at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. I have a convection oven that reduces the heat automatically by 25 degrees and allows me to cook two on top of each other rather than side by side...

Remove and cool. At this point you can add raisins, dried cranberries, or ground flax seed (although I find that flax seed settles to the bottom and is best added to each bowl individually)...

Store extras in a half gallon mason jar (it won't all fit, so you'll just have to eat some right away!) or 2-3 quart size jars...

Mmmmm! Enjoy!


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