My posting schedule is all out of whack. Usually on Wednesdays, I post a One Dish Two Ways recipe. I’m probably the only one who notices, but it feels really weird to share something else – like, say, how to make granola.
But my posting schedule is out of whack because life is out of whack (not bad out of whack, just out of whack), and when life is out of whack, I usually whip up some homemade granola. (Sorry. That’s a lot of out-of-whacks.)
Why granola? Because granola is the perfect grab-and-go snack, the perfect quick breakfast when served with berries and yogurt, and the perfect all-around food for my toddler. Yeah, it’s pretty perfect. (Gosh, I’m repetitive today).
Anyway, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the few foods my picky toddler adores. “Ga-ah-na!” she cries, several times a day. (She’s also newly obsessed with bacon, which is a story for another day).
We also love homemade granola around here because it’s super easy to make (seriously, it takes all of five minutes from pantry to oven), and it’s so, so, so much cheaper to make it at home than buy it in the store. Plus, you can customize the stuff to your heart’s content. Recently we’ve been big into a combo with coconut, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and dried blueberries. The version I just pulled out of the oven has brown sugar, vanilla, and tons of almonds.
No matter what combination you throw together, it’s really, really hard to go wrong with homemade granola. Here’s how to make it!
- 1 cup honey OR 1 cup pure maple syrup OR ½ cup honey + ½ cup brown sugar OR ½ cup pure maple syrup + ½ cup brown sugar OR you can even use 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch salt (optional, and only recommended if the nuts you’re adding are unsalted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 5 cups rolled grains (usually oats, but five-grain rolled grain cereal is also great)
- 4 cups nuts and seeds (any combination of sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sliced almonds, chopped pecans, walnuts, pepitas, cashews, etc.)
- 1 cup of dried fruit (dried blueberries, chopped dried apricots, chopped dried mango, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a large bowl, toss together the rolled grains and/or oats, nuts, and seeds. Don’t add the fruit yet! You’ll add that after you’ve baked the granola. (The dried fruit is added after it’s baked).
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the honey, syrup, or brown sugar (or a combination), butter, and vegetable oil, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and ingredients are fairly well combined. Add the cinnamon, pinch of salt, and/or vanilla extract if using.
- Pour the honey/butter/oil mixture over the grain/nut/seed mixture, and toss until evenly coated.
- Spread granola on cookie sheets and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola turns golden brown.
- Let cool, then toss in the dried fruit.
- Store in an airtight container (it should keep for up to a month at room temperature).