Homemade granola not only makes a great breakfast, but also a good-for-you snack. It takes just minutes, but is way better for you than store bough since you get to control all the ingredients.
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We eat homemade granola for breakfast almost every day at our house. My daughter also loves it for a snack, since this recipe creates nice clusters – and I love knowing exactly what the ingredients are in that snack. Store bought granola gets a bad rap because of the sugar, but you can make it with less, plus it’s a lot less expensive as well.
Years ago when I first started making granola, the only recipes I could find for called for baking it at a low temperature for 2 hours! And stirring it 2-3 times, so you had to babysit it. Ugh – I made it only once because I didn’t want my oven on for that long, and it just took too much time.
Then I found a recipe in one of the Tightwad Gazette books that only needed 20 minutes of baking, yay! Seems granola doesn’t need to be cooked that long after all. Over the years I adapted it to our tastes and to make it healthier and it became one of our favorites. (Update: I use this easy maple-honey homemade granola recipe now, since it uses even less sweetener and cooks in even less time.)
Make Homemade Granola
This is a really flexible recipe. Don’t have nuts? Leave them out. Want to use up a half-eaten bag of dried apricots? Cut them up and throw them in. Or any other dried fruit – you get the idea.
Sometimes I use all rolled oats and sometimes I use a 5-grain rolled mix. Just keep the total amount of dry ingredients to 10 cups (of which 8 cups should be rolled grains).
I noticed when looking at boxed granola that there was always flour listed, and I wanted to create more “chunks” like they have in the commercial cereals, so I added a bit one time and it did create more chunks. Any type of flour works, since it’s being used to add to the “clumpiness” factor, but it’s also totally optional.
Shop this recipe:
- The 5-Grain Rolled Cereal Mix I use.
- The brand of rolled oats I prefer.
- I like to use this oil for its neutral flavor.
- To make it extra healthy, I add Flax Seed (for fiber) and Ground Flax (for heart health), and Oat Bran.
Tip: when adding the sweeteners and oil to the saucepan, add the brown sugar first, the oil second, and then add the honey. Measuring in this order will help the honey to simply slide out of the measuring cup!
You can let the mixture cook while mixing your dry ingredients, stirring every now and then. When the sugar melts remove it from the heat before adding vanilla because it will boil up a little – just stir it down.
After you’ve poured the hot mixture over the dry ingredients, start mixing it together with a large spoon, but don’t get discouraged! It will seem like it can’t possibly cover all the dry ingredients, but just keep mixing, using the spoon to get all the edges and smooshing with the back of the spoon, and it will eventually be evenly coated. And it really only takes a few minutes, I swear!
Now, I’ve read that some people recommend using your hands to mix the granola and I actually tried this, which makes me want to mention two things:
- The sugar mixture is HOT.
- It’s really very sticky. Very sticky.
So I use my large stainless steel spoon.
Like I said, you bake this granola for only 20 minutes – much better than 2 hours, don’t you think?
I’ve found that if you cool it for about 20 minutes without stirring there will be more of the chunks that my family likes. If you don’t want larger pieces, stir it more often while it’s cooling.
In either case, you will have to stir from the outside after 20 minutes or it will stick to the pan. If it ever does stick badly (like if you’ve forgotten about it because you’re outside in the garden…not that I’ve ever done that), put it back in a warm oven for a few minutes, and it should come up without a problem.
You can stir in any dried fruit you’d like either right when you take it out of the oven or after letting it sit for awhile.
Click the arrow for the full homemade granola recipe (with print options)!
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