Why make your own Granola?
As my “DIY Cooking” philosophy expands, I’ve gradually been replacing store-bought items with homemade versions of them, granola being a prime example. It all started with my love for Milk and Honey Granola, made by a local Chicago food company that inspired me to make my own.
Cost/Benefit Analysis of Homemade Granola
Before deciding to DIY any food product at home, I do an intuitive cost/benefit analysis that goes something like this:
Will it taste measurably better?
- Is it simple to make?
- Is it something I eat often enough that it’s worth the trouble?
- Will I save money?
And the answers to all these questions are a resounding yes!
Especially if you eat granola almost everyday, which I do, as part of my weekday automated breakfast routine.
Eat it with Yogurt and Berries
It’s really good with yogurt and fruit. We drain the yogurt to make it thicken and then add fresh berries or frozen raspberries and the granola. A little bit goes a long way.
Granola Mama Recipe
Homemade granola is not just for hippies and Whole Foods shoppers with big budgets. It's easy to make at home and tastes better than fancy in-store brands. You can leave out the flax seeds and quinoa if you don't have any - I added them to add fiber and other whole grain nutrients.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 2 T flaxseed (optional)
- 2 T quinoa (optional)
- 1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), or other nuts
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of garam masala (optional)
- 1/4 cup mix of golden raisin, dried cranberries, and currants, or any dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 325° F
- Melt honey and water together and let cool
- In big silver bowl, fold together rolled oats, quinoa, flaxseed, pepitas, honey mixture, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, salt and garam masala
- Pour into unlined, ungreased 1/2 sheet pan (cookie sheet)
- Spread evenly so there are no bald spots on the pan or it may burn
- Bake, stirring and flattening every 10 minutes until very golden brown, 30-35 minutes; let cool slightly
- Mix in the dried fruit. Let cool completely
- Store at room temperature for up to three week