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Delectable Homemade Granola

There are A LOT of recipes for granola on the Internet.  Lucky for you, I've done all the research and tinkering and have come up with a delicious recipe.  I like the oat-to-nut ratio here and the amount of sweetness.  I used to eat Trader Joe's Granola and The Three Berries, because it was a reasonably priced granola.  But you know what?  It doesn't have any nuts --  just oats, dried berries and cane sugar.  I also prefer natural sweeteners to processed sugar -- one of the reasons I make my own granola.  Store-bought granola with lots of nuts and no sugar is hard to find and expensive.

Easy Homemade Granola

2 cups rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
1/2 cup almonds (I like sliced)
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.  Measure and combine oil, honey and maple syrup using a 1-cup measuring cup.  Heat the wet ingredients for 1 minute in microwave.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.  On a well-oiled jelly roll pan (about 10" x 18") -- I use a spray -- pour out the mixture and spread evenly.  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes.  Let cool a little, then pour into an airtight container.  Good for 1-2 weeks, in my experience.  I freeze most of mine for much longer and only take out what we'll need for the next several days.  Makes about 3.5 cups of granola.  You can add dried fruit -- I don't.

A few notes:

  • You can probably buy granola cheaper than you can make this one -- but you won't find one with as many nuts (and protein) for cheaper.
  • Buy nut pieces.  They are cheaper than whole nuts anyway.
  • I've shopped around a bit for the best prices.  Buy sliced almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds at Trader Joe's.  I bought unsweetened coconut and sesame seeds in bulk section of Whole Foods.  I buy oats and honey at Costco. Maple syrup is expensive -- I know this.  However, it really makes a difference on the flavor.  Maple syrup from Costco is the cheapest I've found. 
  • I tried using aluminum foil.  The granola sticks to it worse and the foil rips when you try to get the granola off with a spatula.  Stick with a greased pan, no foil.
  • I love this granola for breakfast (esp. over shredded wheat), on plain yogurt, or plain as a little sweet snack.
  • My toddler loves this granola too.
  • This recipe can easily be adapted -- more nuts, less oats, no walnuts, more almonds, pecans instead of walnuts, less honey/maple syrup.  If you want to keep the relative sweetness about the same, keep your oat-to-sweetener ratio the same.  The oats absorb all the sweetener.  Coconut adds a little sweetness too.

What's in your granola?

 This post is part of Frugal Friday.