Now that’s summer is nearly here, we’re switching to a cooler morning option, homemade granola cereal. It is a bit more expensive than the plain oatmeal version, but the recipe is dead-easy and significantly cheaper per serving than store-bought granola, even with the nuts.
It takes less than five minutes to mix up and only needs to be stirred once or twice while in the oven. Really, does it get simpler than that?
This homemade granola recipe is a ratio recipe, meaning you can halve it, double it, triple it, whatever you or your family needs. Everything in it is a ratio, so if you double the oats, simply double everything else. It’s not a particularly sensitive recipe, either. You can play around with it and make it your own. If you don’t want to use peanut oil because someone in your family has an allergy, that’s just fine, use coconut or avocado oil. This is a granola recipe, we’re not titrating a life-saving formula.
Have fun with it! Get creative and learn what you like best.
In a large bowl, throw together the following ingredients for the granola. Substitute as you see fit. If you make this for someone with celiac disease, you must use rolled oats that are not processed in a facility that also processes wheat.
- 6 cups rolled oats (we prefer thick rolled, do NOT substitute quick cooking)
- 1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 1 cup roasted sunflower seeds (or cashews or nut of choice)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
In a small bowl, mix:
- 1/2 cup honey – do not use honey if you intend to give this to an infant, you can substitute maple syrup or karo syrup in this case (a child under one year old)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (reduce if any of the nuts are salted)
- 1/2 cup, packed brown sugar
- a scant (meaning not quite to the line) 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use peanut)
Once this is stirred together, pour it over the oat mixture and stir until distributed evenly.
Really can a recipe be any more simple?
Spread on two baking sheets and bake for 1.5 hours at 250°F, stirring once or twice. The oven doesn’t even need to be preheated.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
Now is when you stir in the dried apples, raisins, dried cranberries, whatever floats your boat.
Serve as a homemade, no HFCS breakfast cereal, stir into yogurt, and use ice cream topping. It also makes a great topping for fruit crisps, but sprinkle it on after baking or just before it is done.
How to keep homemade granola cost-effective.
We love rolled oats in our house.
I buy rolled oats in bulk. And much to the annoyance of the people at Whole Foods, I am the annoying lady who ends up kneeling in front of the stupid bulk bin scooping out 35lbs of rolled oats because I can never get my schedule coordinated enough to remember to pre-order the 50lb bag a week before my schedule takes me to that side of town. My only local source of rolled oats is 45 minutes away, and that can’t be a weekly outing.
*Updated to note* I have now found Quaker Rolled Oats in Bulk at Costco, usually $0.69 a lb or so. That’s a number I can love.
**Update to that update** This post was written 11 years ago and now I have four teenagers who eat me out of house and home. I now buy 95% of my groceries through Walmart’s delivery. It’s about the same price as Amazon prime, it keeps me out of Walmart, which in my part of the country means staying away from people who refuse to wear masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic and keeps me from getting very frustrated with people in general. It’s a win-win.
I may not always be tree-hugging, but I am granola crunching.
What about you?