Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homemade Granola

After messing up my granola a few weeks ago, I finally got it right! :) The interesting thing about the whole granola thing was that the first two times I was following a recipe that was loaded with sugar, butter and all sorts of tasty things. After failing miserably and wasting a bunch of food :-/, it took me a while to get all the ingredients rounded up again. During that time I was put on a very intense diet (for health reasons) to clear up some things which meant NO sugar for a while. Thankfully, I hadn't made my sugar filled version yet, so I adapted the recipe to make it acceptable for our family's new, temporary diet. We love it! We've been eating it with our homemade yogurt or with almond milk.

I have found that making things like granola can be a more cost effective way of getting healthier foods into our diet then buying mixes/meals ready-made at the store. I wouldn't say that this granola is significantly cheaper then boxed sugary, cereal, but it is cheaper then the healthy cereal alternatives. A high in nutrient box of cold cereal can easily get up into the $4 range and this large batch of granola with come in under that price tag. :)

It's hard to give a cost break down on granola because there are so many variations and options for add-ins that it really depends on your tastes, budget and preferences. I prefer less extras in my granola and then on mornings when I am in the mood for more fruit or nuts, I'll add them accordingly.

Here's my recipe:
8 C old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C butter (if you prefer you could probably do 1 C of either butter or oil)
1/2 C oil
1/2+ C almond butter
1/2+ C honey (optional, I have been leaving honey out for my current diet, but if you like the crunchy chunks you should add honey)
1/4 C Stevia (or 1/2 C brown sugar)
1/2+ C fruit of your choice (we use unsweetened coconut shavings)
1/2+ C nuts of your choice (we use slivered almonds)
**Feel free to adjust amounts to your preferences and tastes. You can also leave parts out, but adjust things to make sure there is enough "coating" for the oatmeal.

Pour the rolled oats out onto a cooking sheet (or two if necessary). Boil the butter, oil, almond butter, honey and stevia for a minute or two until it is all mixed together. Pour over the rolled oats. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Once it has cooled add the fruit and nuts, stir together. Store in an air tight container.

Other options for add ins:
-Dried berries (blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc)
-Dried fruit (apricot, apples, prunes)
-Any kind of chopped nut

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