I have to admit, I am not a big fan of breakfast foods. I usually wait till I get my morning chores done before I sit down to eat. I especially don’t love cold cereal, BUT I do love granola! I don’t know why, but it is just so comforting to me. Maybe it’s the nostalgia I have about it. It reminds me of when I was a little girl, so excited when my mom would make it. She used to have a huge tupperware container of it sitting high up on our refrigerator. I hated it when we would run out! I just really love the combination of the crunchiness of the nuts and the sweetness of the raisins. The only other way I enjoy raisins is covered in chocolate! But in granola, they’re kinda magical, haha!
Making homemade granola is so easy! It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. And you end up with enough to last a while. The cost savings alone will make you smile!
Start by pulling out your biggest mixing bowl and adding oats, nuts, wheat germ *, coconut, sunflower seeds and/or anything else that sounds good to you! Just try to keep the total measurements of dry ingredients about the same as the recipe so you can get good coating with your sweetener/oil mixture. Play around with what kinds of oats, nuts, seeds, fruits and spices you use. This recipe is as versatile as your imagination!
*I buy my wheat germ at Winco in bulk. It is very inexpensive this way. You can probably find it in any health foods store as well. In case you are not able to find wheat germ, I have provided an Amazon link for you. wheat germ
In a small saucepan, combine the sweetener(s) of your choice, oil, spices and flavoring (I like vanilla because it complements most spices). Cinnamon and nutmeg are great granola spices, but cardamom and allspice are fun as well. Just remember that less is more when trying new spices! You don’t want to overpower everything else.
Slowly heat the mixture over med/low heat till any sugar you used is dissolved. When I use agave nectar, I don’t even bother to heat the mixture.
Pour your sweetener/oil mixture over your grains/nuts mixture and stir to coat everything well.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes, stir, then bake for 10-15 more minutes, or till golden brown.
Remove the pans from the oven and sprinkle with your choice of dried fruit. Let cool completely. Depending on what sweetener you used, you may need to break up the granola a bit to store it. When I use agave nectar, the granola is much looser and doesn’t need any breaking up. When I use brown sugar and honey, it bakes together more and I have to break it into little chunks, which is how I prefer it!
Store your cooled granola in zip-top bags or an airtight container, like this one. If you need to store it longer than two weeks, just toss it in the freezer.
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