Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kitchen Tip #2: How to Make Your Own Granola

What do you usually eat for breakfast?

In my household, we seem to go in cycles. For weeks on end, especially in the winter, we'll eat nothing but oatmeal. Then the weather will warm up and we'll eat cereal and fruit or eggs and cinnamon toast. But, recently, I have started making granola. YUM!

Yes, I know you can buy granola at the store, but most of the kinds I find either have ingredients I don't like or taste like cardboard. Plus, it's a bit on the pricey side, especially when I can make it myself.

Thanks to my mom and Martha Stewart (sometimes I think Mom is Martha Stewart although she's never been to prison that I know of), I have a great granola recipe that I want to share with you. It is super simple, and, like when you make your own barbecue sauce, you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand to produce the perfect granola for your family.


1/3 cup oil (use something light like canola, vegetable, coconut or extra light olive oil)
1/3 cup liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, agave)
2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick oats)
1 cup nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), chopped or whole or both--we like different textures
3/4 cup shaved coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup dried fruit


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Line a pan with sides with parchment paper or spray with Pam. (You want to use a pan that will allow you to flip the granola without it falling off.)
3. In a large bowl, mix the oil and liquid sweetener until thoroughly combined.
4. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the dried fruit and stir until combined.
5. Dump the granola onto the pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula.
6. Bake for about 8 minutes. When you start to smell the granola, that means it's beginning to brown and may soon burn. I've done this several times, but it's still yummy.
7. Take the granola out of the oven and flip with a spatula. You want the granola to bake evenly.
8. Return the granola to the oven and repeat steps 6 and 7 until it reaches the "doneness" you desire. We like it golden brown. That usually takes about 24 minutes depending on the size of your pan and thickness of the granola layer. The thinner the layer the shorter the cooking time.
9. Allow the granola to cool on the pan and then add dried fruit, if you like. We like dried cranberries or Craisins.
10. Transfer the granola to a storage container, jar with lid, or a ziploc bag and enjoy!

You can eat your granola by the handfuls, with milk like cereal, or with yogurt and fruit. Kate likes her granola with blueberries, cinnamon and yogurt, and Daniel adds a sprinkle of ground flax seed to his. In this last batch of granola, I added 1/2 cup of flax seed; you can't taste it and my family gets the added health benefits (folic acid, omega-three's, fiber).

Does your family like granola? What do you like to add to yours?

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