A couple of weeks ago, I started making my own granola. I really feel so silly for never trying that before, but I think I told you that I had found the pretty much perfect granola at our local Co-op. It’s really good, has the perfect mix of sweet and salty and has no added sugar (just natural sweetness from dried berries). I used to buy it in bulk, but you can also get it packaged (if you want to try it). The only problem with it is that it is quite pricy ($7.99/lb).
So, I finally decided to try and recreate my own homemade version of it, to a) bring down the costs and b) the added benefit of being able to play around with the ingredient list.
I looked at a dozen (or so) basic granola recipes online (most had many things in common) and then tried my hand at coming up with my own recipe. What I knew was: I like pumpkin seeds, I like cinnamon and vanilla flavor.
To keep the costs down, I stick with lots of rolled oats and just add seeds and nuts for flavor. I omit the walnuts and dried fruit (because I always add fresh fruit to my granola) and use a little bit of maple syrup for sweetness instead). If you wanna get fancy, get the a bag of Trader Joe’s Super seed & ancient grain blend. It’s a nice addition to the granola basics, but it also adds to the cost/serving ratio (fair warning).
Dry ingredients (I prefer to work with weight rather than volume, because the cup measurements are so different for each ingredient):
16 oz (thick) rolled oats
2.6 oz pumpkin seeds
1.5 oz sunflower seeds
1 oz flax seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1.7 fl oz coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
2-3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey) — I use 1.5 tbsp, but use two or three if you like it a little sweeter
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 frothed egg white (optional)
Mix up the dry ingredients in a bowl (and yes! Yes, of course, you can use your newly acquired KitchenAid Mixer on low speed, if you absolutely have to – ahem. I mean, it’s right there! Use it! Haha.)
Combine the oil, syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl and heat it up over medium heat. Then pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Make sure all ingredients are coated with the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350F and spread the granola on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool down, then store in an air-tight mason jar or container.
The amount of ingredients listed above make about 10 servings á ½ of a cup (2.1 oz) and that lasts me about 1-2 weeks, depending how often I have it for breakfast. I usually add some greek yogurt + fruit, or sometimes milk.)
There are approximately 250 calories per serving and the costs come to $5.25 for the whole batch (under $3.90/lb), which is definitely much cheaper than the store-bought kind. I admit, it’s a little simpler, too (as I didn’t add dried fruit, for example), but I love having control over the ingredients, esp. sugar and oil that goes into the mix.
This recipe is super-easy to tweak to your liking. I want to try it with a mix of multigrain flakes (which is just a mix of different rolled grains like oats, barley, rye, etc.) and maybe add some other nuts (e.g. almonds or cashews) for a change. Let me know if you try this and how you like your granola. I am curious!