Granola gets a little bit of a bad rap these days.
For years, granola was touted as a healthier option to cereal. Until, that is, we realized just how much sugar goes into the average batch of granola you buy at the store.
Here’s the bad news: Store bought anything is likely going to have more sugar in it than you want. More preservatives, too.
Here’s the good news:
It’s ridiculously easy to make granola at home and it takes all of 20 minutes. You can also buy nearly everything you need for your homemade granola in bulk, if you have a good bulk foods store. In fact, you can buy ALL of it in bulk if you have an excellent bulk foods store. Save packaging and avoid using too much plastic (I use glass jars. More on that another time).
This recipe is my favorite, but honestly, you can play around with the ingredients. Blueberry-Walnut is a great combo. So is Apple-Almond. Or cranberry-pecan. I recommend keeping the combo to one dried fruit/one nut because it gives you a stronger, more clear flavor (although I don’t count seeds in that ratio as you’ll notice in the recipe below).
So feel free to use this recipe as a template and change up the nuts/seeds/dried fruits to your own tastes!
I also use Brown Rice Syrup to sweeten instead of sugar or maple syrup. I do this for 2 reasons. First, it’s a mellower sweetener. Not as intense as maple syrup and not as chemical-flavored as white sugar. Second, it’s SUPER STICKY, which helps to bind the granola into bigger chunks. Win-win. However, if you’d prefer you can sub-in maple syrup instead.
Blueberry Walnut Granola
Makes 8 cups
6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup walnuts, broken into little pieces
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 Tbs flax meal
2 Tbs hemp seed (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sunflower oil
a dash of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place all 6 cups of oats on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven when done and set aside to cool off a little bit.
In the meantime, combine all of the dry ingredients (without the granola) in a large bowl. When the oats are a bit cooler, add to the dry ingredients and mix together well. Then add in the remaining ingredients: the oils and the brown rice syrup. Mix together thoroughly. You’ll have to scrape some of the sticky oats off and back into the bowl.
Once everything is well combined, spread it out on the baking sheet. Make it as even as possible. You should be just fine with one baking sheet (21×15/3 quarter size baking sheet).
Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and let cool before you break it apart and put it in jars.
I use a silicon spatula to break everything apart. Sometimes a butter knife if some of the granola is stuck to the bottom.
Granola should last for at least 2 weeks in the cupboard.