I love me a good ‘ol bowl of granola for breakfast in the morning. Who doesn’t (Well, I suppose someone who doesn’t like cereal probably wouldn’t like granola, but they’re an unusual minority, wouldn’t you say?) But whenever I check to see how much sugar is in a box of granola at the supermarket (even supposedly “healthy” granolas in health food stores), I cringe. It’s horrifying how pumped full of sugar they are! Of course, that’s sadly true of most cereals out there these days.
When I was a kid, I always wanted the colorful, sugar-pumped cereals that they advertised on TV with the hyperactive animated animals in their commercials. You know the ones I mean.
They always showed those commercials whenever cartoons were on, so it was practically impossible to miss them if you were a kid with cable in your house.
My parents always refused to buy those cereals in the same way they refused to buy Wonder bread (or any white bread for that matter. It was whole wheat or nothing). They always told us those cereals were basically sugar covered fluff, and it was not healthy for us to eat such cereals. Instead we ate cereals with whole grains and less than 5 grams of sugar. And let me tell ya, those cereals did not have interesting commercials with hyperactive animated animals in them, AND they weren’t various amazing colors of neon like the other cereals. They were usually brown, or some shade thereof, and I was therefore not interested in them in the least bit. It drove me crazy that my parents wouldn’t let me and my brothers have the “good” cereals.
Today, however, I am extremely grateful to my parents for not giving in to my pleading, and feeding my brothers and myself the healthiest foods they could, including those healthier, non-sweet cereals, and whole grain bread.
Many of you have discovered making homemade granola bars, how easy it is, and have sworn off the store bought versions with 100 ingredients in them, so I thought it was probably time to start to write about making homemade granola.
Homemade granola, like homemade granola bars, is easy, a LOT cheaper, a lot healthier (if you make it so), and completely customizable. You can add whatever you want to make it your ideal granola. You know exactly what’s going into it, so you know there are no weird chemical preservatives or other unsavory bits, so I suppose it’s a granola that offers peace of mind. That’s hard to beat, right?
This is a basic granola recipe, so I would recommend trying this first, then tweaking it to suit your tastes. Try using different kinds of nuts and seeds, pure maple syrup or molasses instead of honey, different pure extracts instead of vanilla (almond, orange, coconut, etc.), adding cinnamon or other spices, adding a different kinds of dried fruit (or maybe chocolate chips for a special treat). The options are truly endless. Experiment and have fun!
Granola is great with milk, plain yogurt and fresh fruit, kefir, and mixed in oatmeal. Enjoy!
- 3 c. rolled oats
- 1/4 c. flax seeds (whole seeds, not ground)
- 3/4 c. sliced almonds
- 1/2 c. shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
- 1/4 c. coconut oil (melted)
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1/8 c. water
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F (190° C).
- Combine the oats, flax seeds, almonds, and coconut in a large pan.
- Mix coconut oil, honey, water, and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour on dry mixture in pan, and mix well.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then take out of oven and stir. Repeat this for 2 or 3 times, then increase the frequency of stirring to every five minutes or so until golden brown (like pictured above).
- Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container.