Right – so I know you’re thinking something along the lines of “What? Why would I make granola? It’s like $3.99 at Target!” And I get it – I thought the same way for a very long time. Then I actually started caring what I put in my body – specifically, how much salt was in my food and I realized the best way to control the amount of sodium in my diet was just to … control the amount of sodium in my diet. Which meant making a lot of my own food.
Now I am far from some people on the blogosphere that make their own everything (it’s a far reaching goal) but I do make my own granola. I chose to focus on granola for a couple of reasons: first, it’s easy and easy is a good thing; and, secondly, it’s something I consume once daily for five days a week – so it’s something that I would consider important. Pretty fair, right?
Anyways, once I decided that I would be taking an hour out of my Sundays in order to make a batch of granola, I got to the researching/experimenting/tasting part of my recipe process which included such questions as “Old Fashioned Oats or Quinoa?” and “Honey or Maple syrup?”. Spoiler Alert – usually I decided to go with a mixture of both. YOLO, amiright?
What I discovered about making granola boiled down to this:
For every cup of oats (old fashioned is best), these should be a tablespoon or so of oil (coconut oil, butter) in addition to other liquids.
Baking for 15 min, taking out and flipping the granola, then cooking for 15 more minutes before taking out flipping around and cooking for a further ten minutes, is best.
Making 3 cups of oats into a canister (air tight of course!) of granola will last from Monday to Friday
Dried fruit should always be added after the granola has been cooked.
Ditto to any melty things – like chocolate – add them after the granola was cooked and cooled
Want bigger clusters? Wait until the granola is cool, then break off big chunks.
Some nuts burn faster than others – make a note of this.
Right, so pretty basic. Let’s move on to an actual basic granola recipe:
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1-2 cups nuts (whatever you prefer)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 generous tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup honey
splash of vanilla
splash of maple syrup
1/2 cup dried fruit, chocolate chips, other add ons
1. In a large bowl, place your dry ingredients. Mix them up a bit so that they all get coated with cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
2. Let the melted butter cool a little bit, then add it, the honey, the vanilla and the maple syrup to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly so everything is wet, but not soaking.
3. Spread the mixture in a thin layer over a prepared (read: buttered up) baking sheet and set the oven to 350F.
4. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, move around granola with spatula, then stick in the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes. At the end of the second 15 minutes, take out the granola, mix it about, inspect it and make sure it’s not burning, and if it still needs a little browning, put it back into the oven for a final 10 minutes.
5. Once done baking, let cool. Once cool, add in any of the other things that makes granola yummy – dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, coconut flakes – whatever you like. Mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!
That’s my basic go-to granola recipe, though lately I have added a 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, a couple of tbsp of chia seeds and some flax seeds to the baking process, as well as experimenting with coffee concentrates and espresso powder to coat the mixture. Granola is easy to personalize and super simple to get a hang of. I highly recommend you start your own granola making with the above recipe, and then make it up as you go along. I record my “recipes” in a notebook and compare what worked and what didn’t and I am pretty happy so far with the results!
I usually take mine with cold coconut milk and various berries and chopped up banana in the morning – though I will be experimenting with making the granola into bar forms in the fall – wish me luck!
For other granola recipes I’ve liked, click on these: