PostHeaderIcon Homemade Granola

I love Granola, but man is it expensive!  Our grocery stores carry basic granola for about $4.99 for 12-16 ounces.  Then, they have to go and take something that is so good and could be healthy for you and fill it with things like High Fructose Corn Syrup and a whole lot of other stuff that I cannot pronounce.  There are brands that avoid these ingredients, but they are even more expensive.  A couple of months ago I started looking for recipes and tried a few.  Granola can have such a variety of ingredients that it took me a while to find one that I really liked.  Some were just too sticky and sweet and others were too crunchy and had a lot of unnecessary ingredients in them.  After a few trial and errors, I have come up with one that we all eat.  For a crunchier breakfast cereal I use the same basic Granola recipe below and add a few  cups of bran flakes.  James is not a fan of straight Granola, but will happily eat the crunchier version.  I don’t even think he knows that he is eating the Granola and bran flakes, I never mentioned that his store bought cereal was finished and I have been topping it up with my home made one.

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I have a food dehydrator (told you I love gadgets) and when fruit is about to go over ripe or I have abundance due to a co-op purchase I will dehydrate strawberries, apples, bananas or whatever I have and store it to add to Granola later.  Last night I took 2 apples and 2 bananas that were starting to get over ripe and coated them with lemon juice then tossed them in the dehydrator overnight.  This morning I chopped them up, pried the storage container away from the kids who wanted to eat it all and then I put it away until I could make my Granola this evening.  Here is the basic recipe.  You can add any dried fruit to yours.  Or keep it as simple as you like

Granola Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (you could use any cooking oil, but olive is healthier)
5 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (do not use the quick cooking oats)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon molasses (you can substitute this for more honey if you prefer, but I like the dark richness of the molasses)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts, the original recipe called for almonds so use what you like)
1/2 cup dried fruit (sometimes I do only raisins and some days I put in whatever I have dried already)

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Directions:
Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot, make sure it is BIG, over medium heat.  Add the oats and Cinnamon to the pot and stir until lightly toasted and the oats is coated with oil and cinnamon.  About 5 minutes will do.

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Pour the oats onto a cookie sheet and add the butter to the pot.  Once the butter is melted, toss in the honey, molasses and sugar and let it simmer for 1 minute.  Return the oats to the pot and let it cook for 3-5 minutes until the oats is completely coated.

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Remove from the heat, add your fruit and nuts and spread it on a cookie sheet until the mixture has cooled.  Once cooled, store it in an airtight container in the pantry.

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Cost analysis:
I did not work this one out precisely, but a rough calculation suggest that it would cost about $2.50-$3.00 per pound of Granola.  Of course this will change depending on what you add to your Granola.

Notes:
I am not a big sweets person, but if I do feel like a sweet snack I put a couple tablespoons of yogurt in a bowl and top it with the Granola, it is so yummy!
As mentioned before I add a few cups of bran flakes to for a crunchier breakfast cereal.

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