I thought this would be a good time to post my directions on making homemade “custom” granola. We often find store-bought granola to be too sweet, rich, and a little “raw” tasting. I like mine to be more toasty oats and not quite so heavy on the nuts and fruit. It’s super easy to make your own, and it can turn out to be much cheaper, too, if you don’t go hog-wild with the nuts and dried fruit. Many of the recipes on the interweb are much, much sweeter and loaded with fruit and nuts. This recipe is much thriftier.
Basic granola recipe
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 to 1.5 cups apple juice or water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla and/or almond extract
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 6 – 8 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
- Stir first 5 ingredients together, then mix all the ingredients in a deep bowl and let set for 30 minutes. Add more water or juice if it seems too dry. The mixture should be damp but not soggy.
- Spread out the mixture on a shallow pan or cookie sheet and leave some “clumps.” Bake at 250 F for about 1.5 to 2 hours, until lightly toasted. Gently stir 3 or 4 times so that it toasts and dries evenly.
- For more deluxe granola, you can add any combination of the following before toasting: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, orange peel zest, wheat germ, flax seed, maple syrup, honey, chopped (raw) almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pumpkin seeds.
- After toasting you can add dried fruit such as raisins, craisins, chopped apricots, dates, mango, pineapple, blueberries, cherries, and banana chips.
To stretch granola out so it lasts longer I sometimes mix it with some cheap cereal such as bran flakes, corn flakes, multigrain flakes, Grape Nuts, etc.