Breakfast cereals can be very expensive, and nothing seems to be more pricey than a tiny box of granola. With four kids in our household, we can go through cereal pretty fast! I perfected this easy granola recipe several years ago, and it’s one of the few foods that even the pickiest of eaters enjoy.
I love mixing up the ingredients. In the fall I might use dried apples, maple syrup, pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) and pecans. In the winter it could be dried cranberries, honey, sliced almonds and sunflower seeds. And look at those plump golden raisins in the picture! Yum! Every time, it’s a slightly different combination of nuts and seeds, depending on what I have on hand.
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This granola is great on its own, in a bowl with milk, or as a topping on your favourite yogurt. (The kids like it better when I call it a “yogurt parfait”. It sounds fancier!)
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Why Make your own Granola?
I’m primarily a personal finance blogger. A true money and numbers person. But I also really enjoy cooking and baking. One of the ways I’ve cut down on our household expenses is to make most of our food at home rather than eating out. And substituting this easy and delicious homemade granola for store-bought cereal saves big money. A tiny box of granola in the store can be up to $7, whereas a bag of oats is often found on sale for under $2 – and you use less than 1/3 of a bag in this recipe!
This recipe is perfectly suited for those with food allergies. Simply use your favourite certified gluten-free oats, or use only seeds to avoid nut allergies. It’s naturally dairy-free and vegetarian. And to make it vegan, simply choose maple syrup rather than honey for the sweetener option.
Granola Your Way Recipe
I’m not a pro food blogger, nor an expert at food photography. So here we’ll go right into the recipe, rather than having to scroll through screen after screen of superfluous descriptions and images that don’t matter. Let’s get cooking!
Granola Your Way
- 3 cups whole oats
- 3 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (I use canola but feel free to use your favourite)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup dried fruit (your choice of cranberries, raisins, currents, dried apples or berries, coconut, etc.)
- ½ cup nuts and seeds (your choice of almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Place oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir to mix together.
- Place honey or maple syrup, oil and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir to mix. (The oil will want to separate anyways).
- Pour over the oat mixture, and stir to combine.
- Spread in a thin, even layer on a baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Stir, and continue to bake another 5-15 minutes until light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Stir for 5 minutes. This is important! If you leave it to sit on the baking sheet or in the bowl without stirring, it will clump together and stick to the pan. We want a nice, loose, granola.
- Cool20 minutes 20 minutes, then add your choice of fruit, nuts and seeds. Toss to combine.
- I like to store in glass jars. A canning funnel is essential to avoid spilling when you pour it in. Plastic storage containers would also work fine.
- NOTE: If you are using raw nuts, you can toast them with the oat mixture.
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Let me know in the comments what combinations you’ve tried and enjoyed. Especially if you’ve added something new!