Homemade Granola

imageWe LOVE granola!  And good news: making it yourself is really easy and inexpensive!  Plus, you can make it healthier than the store-bought kind, and you can customize it to suit your tastes and food allergies/sensitivities.

Be warned, though.  I have found this granola to be addictive, and I’ve been known to eat much more than a “sensible” portion in one sitting.  If you’re still on board (and you should be), keep reading for the instructions.

-Viv

Adapted (significantly) from Alton Brown’s granola recipe

imageINGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (or other liquid sweetener such as agave or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (or any other suitable nuts or seeds)
  • 1 cup dried fruit, such as cranberries (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix the sugar, honey, oil, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. (KITCHEN HACK: You can use a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup and do the sugar first, then the oil, then the honey, and you’ll have fewer dishes to wash, PLUS the oil makes the cup non-stick, so all the honey will easily slip right out of the measuring cup!)
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (minus the dried fruit, if using) and stir to coat.
  4. Spread evenly onto 2 cookie sheets (optional:  line with foil for easier cleanup) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until evenly golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.
  5. Cool completely before adding dried fruit (if using).  Store in a zip top bag or other airtight container.

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NOTE:  The amounts listed are suggestions only.  You can use more oats and reduce the amount of nuts or vice versa.  In the past, I’ve used significantly less sugar and honey, and I’ve replaced the oil with cooking spray, and the results were still excellent.  Also feel free to make substitutions/omissions as you like. On various occasions I’ve substituted cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or sesame seeds for all or some of the almonds; I’ve also used dried blueberries or raisins instead of cranberries. It comes out great every time, regardless of the swaps I make.  Finally, this recipe makes a LOT of granola,  but it’s so good you’ll be ok with having it on hand.  You could also put some of it in mason jars or cellophane bags to give away as gifts.  Alternatively, you could easily halve the recipe.  (FYI, 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons)

We can’t wait to hear how yours turns out.  Let us know what you do to customize your homemade granola, because WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

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