I’ve been on a mega granola-eating kick lately. I think I’ve had granola cereal for breakfast at least 5 out of 7 days of each week for the last month straight. That’s a lot of granola!! It seems that I make a new batch about every two weeks or so. What I love about making my own granola cereal is that I can make a huge batch, but not feel rushed in any way to eat it quickly. That’s because immediately after I bake it, I freeze it. I don’t even let it sit on the counter anymore. This way there is never any concern about eating it all before it goes bad. That’s right…you can freeze granola! When you take it out of the freezer, there is no need to thaw it. It doesn’t stick together and you can eat it immediately. Promise! 🙂
The recipe I’ve been using these days comes straight from Lisa Leake’s cookbook: 100 Days of Real Food. However, the more I’ve made it, the more I’ve started to make adjustments to fit our own preferences. I thought I would share how I make my version, but make sure to check out Lisa’s original recipe, as well. The main differences are that I use a combination of steel cut oats and regular oats, I’ve added ground flax seed to boost the nutritional content, I’ve increased the amount of cinnamon because I wanted a little more flavor, and I eliminated one teaspoon of the vanilla…just because it saves money. 🙂 I’ve also been trying to include more Brazil nuts in mine because they’re a good source of selenium (something that is important to me since I have thyroid issues). This recipe is very customizable, so feel free to adjust the kinds of nuts and seeds you use each time. You can also use coconut oil in place of the butter, if you like. I’ve done that before, too, but I prefer butter.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup steel cut oats
- 1½ cups raw chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews)
- 1 cup raw seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut (flaked or shredded)
- ½ cup ground flax seed
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ginger
- dash or two of nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 T organic butter
- ½ cup honey (I use raw)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl.
- In small saucepan, heat butter and honey over low until the butter is melted.
- Add vanilla.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well (so granola is nicely coated).
- Spread evenly onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper).
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (No need to stir.)
- Remove from oven, let cool, and then break apart.
- Store in the freezer, unless you plan to eat it all within a few days.
I almost always serve mine with almond milk. I’m not a big milk drinker and I generally feel better when I don’t consume too much dairy, so that’s why I typically choose almond milk. Sometimes I will make it myself, other times I will buy the Simple Truth brand from Kroger (though, there are a few ingredients that I’m not crazy about). And my favorite toppings? I always start with diced bananas. And then from there I will add whatever else I have around the house…usually a combination of things like pomegranate seeds, mini chocolate chips, blueberries, almond butter, diced granny smith apples, raisins, and more. (Just not all at one time!)
Here’s another idea for your granola cereal: stir it into yogurt! My kids love this idea and it’s often requested in our house. And if you really want to get your kids excited about eating plain Greek yogurt, mix in a tiny bit of pure maple syrup, a couple dashes of cinnamon, a large handful of granola, and top with a few mini chocolate chips! My daughter has taken this combination for her school lunch several times. (She mixes it together at school so it doesn’t get soggy.)
Anyway, I think you can tell how much we love granola in this house! Eat it for breakfast or eat it for lunch (or, heck, eat it for dinner if you really want to)! It’s delicious and it’s filled with good-for-you ingredients! And it’s easy to make a BIG batch and spread out eating it over several weeks! (If it lasts that long…)