Granola – Quick and Surprisingly Easy
Everyone in our family loves granola, it’s so versatile. It’s a handy snack, good with yogurt, milk, fresh fruit, dried fruit. And you can mix and match flavors. My only real issue is that when I buy it at the store I feel like I am being fleeced.
Six bucks of a small bag of the stuff? Seriously? Do you know how many boxes of uncooked oats I can get for the price of generic flavored granola? Do you know how fast my boys nom through any granola we buy? I decided it would probably be a bit more cost effective for us if I made the stuff myself. After all, ingredients are cheap.
So here is my lovely cast of players. This is a very, very basic recipe that can really be changed to your own tastes. Don’t like almonds? Try pecans or walnuts. Want a slightly different flavor? Add in a couple tablespoons of pure maple syrup, or molasses or brown sugar.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl, for this batch, I added a little bit of brown sugar. You may be thinking: Flour? In my granola? What are you on Budget Betty, that makes no sense!?
Trust me though, the flour is very important if you want those nice little clusters of granola. I like to call those clusters Nuggets of Joy.
I also prefer whole wheat flour to plain white for a couple reasons: First, its a healthier choice; and second, it leaves a much better flavor. With plain white flour, even if you mix it thoroughly it can sometimes have that icky uncooked flour taste. I have never had that problem with the whole wheat.
Now is the time to add in extra delicious things, such as but not limited to shelled sunflower seeds, pepitas, shredded coconut, various other nuts, etc.
Note: if you are planning on adding in dried fruit of any kind, hold off until the granola is cooked and out of the oven. I learned this one the hard way folks. Burnt and crispy craisins are NOT a burst of flavor you want in your mouth.
Got all the dried goodies in that you want? Good. Now its time to add in your wet ingredients, and stir.
And… well, you get the point. You want all that stuff to get really mixed up, no icky un-coated oats for you!
Next, you spread all that delicious uncooked deliciousness onto your baking sheet (oops! I forgot to line my pan this time. It’s not really a big deal but it saves a lot on cleanup). I really have to resist just taking a spoon to the mixture, I find it so yummy even uncooked.
I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
You want to spread the granola out evenly but make sure that it is nice and packed together so that you can get those Nuggets of Joy I was telling you about.
I can manage to get a double batch of the granola onto one cookie sheet, but just barely.
Stick the pan in the oven and let it bake for 30-40 minutes. You will want to get in there about 15 minutes in and turn the granola over so the underside can cook.
Remove it from the oven when the granola is a nice golden brown.
Add any extra goodies you might have lying around such as dried fruits, chocolate chips, etc. I like to leave mine plain and keep an assortment of dried fruits on hand so we can mix and match depending on our mood.
Store in an air tight container and you have a nice batch of granola for a couple weeks (or days if your family is anything like mine).
Mmm, granola in milk with a topping of chopped dried dates.
ITEMS WE USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE