If you’re going to make yogurt at home, doesn’t it follow that you need to make granola to go with it? Well, maybe not, but there are a lot of good reasons to make your own granola. You come out way ahead cost wise, but in my opinion the most important one is that you control the ingredients, meaning you can adjust the quality, types, and amounts to suit your tastes and values. For example, nuts are a food that I’m always trying to integrate into my diet, but I just don’t enjoy them on their own. Instead, I use them in pesto and on salads, and granola is another great way to eat more! But most store-bought varieties have a much higher proportion of oats and other filler cereals, so I love being able to make my own with a large amount of nuts. Another problem with store-bought granolas is that they tend to be super-high in sugar (read this post for more on why excessive sugar is a problem). My version uses enough honey to make it a little sweet, but keeps it at a very reasonable level. I can also chop the nuts very finely to make it easier for my toddler to chew and less objectionable for my preschooler who has recently decided she no longer likes nuts. And of course by making my own I can use all whole, organic ingredients and not worry about anything else being in there that I’d prefer to avoid!
You might have different priorities and taste preferences than me, so please feel free to take these proportions of wet to dry and make the recipe your own! For example, you can add dried fruit, flax seeds, or chia seeds (after baking!)…use maple syrup instead of honey…leave your nuts in bigger chunks or use different nuts or seeds entirely…add cinnamon or vanilla…whatever makes you happy! For even more ideas, click on the link for the original recipe and have fun experimenting!
adapted from My New Roots
2 cups nuts and/or seeds (I generally use almonds and walnuts)
1/4 tsp. finely ground sea salt
1/3 cup honey (local or from a trusted source)
1/4 cup coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 325. Chop the nuts, either by hand or in a food processor if you prefer a finer texture. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nut/seed mixture, coconut, and salt.
Measure the honey and coconut oil together in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 minute (alternatively, gently heat on the stove until both the oil and honey are very liquidy). Pour over oat mixture and mix very well until all dry ingredients are lightly coated. Spread on a large baking sheet with sides (e.g., a half sheet sized jelly roll pan), lined with a silpat or parchment paper for easier cleanup.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and stir. Place back in the oven, taking out to mix every 5-10 minutes (depending on how fast it’s cooking) until everything is evenly toasty brown, approximately 30 minutes total. The granola will crisp up as it cools, so judge done-ness based on color. Alternatively: Bake at 250 degrees for 60-75 minutes until brown. No need to stir if baked for longer at a lower temperature.
Cool completely on baking sheet, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes approximately 6 cups