Saturday, January 22, 2011

Homemade Granola

I've tried a few recipes for granola before but this one seems to be the best. It's mostly fuss-free, inexpensive and you can change up the ingredients to your liking. Comparing a bag of fancy grocery store granola which gives 2/3 cup as a serving size comes out to about $1.20 per serving. The below recipe cost me half that at $0.60 per serving. This will vary depending on what you have on hand and what you choose to put in it, but unless you plan on putting gold dust in it, it's going to come out cheaper (and probably healthier) than the store bought stuff!

Homemade Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat bran
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (honey, molasses or corn syrup could probably be substituted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried pineapple
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger

Heat liquid ingredients on the stove until blended and warm but not boiling. Pour over rolled oats and wheat bran and mix well. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 325 F for about 10-15 minutes. Add nuts and seeds, give another good mix and put back in the oven for another 10-15 (you should begin to smell the almonds as they toast). Be careful not to let it burn, the sugar in the syrup can turn quickly if it gets too warm. Take it out and add the dried fruit while still warm, then set aside to cool (try not to eat too much of it while waiting), then store in an air-tight container. If it begins to go a bit stale, you can simply toss it back in the oven to crisp it up again. Enjoy with a splash of soy milk or yogurt.

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