I decided to start making granola at home when I looked at the prices of store-bought granolas. If I was smart, I’d go into the business. Little boxes of granola for big monies! Flavorless, undercooked and full of sugar. Homemade granolas are definitely way tastier and better for you. Here’s the recipe for my favorite homemade granola.
Always use rolled oats if you can. In some cases, I have substituted quick oats, but it just doesn’t have the same texture. Half-quick half-rolled isn’t too bad.
As for the nuts. I love the flexibility of this recipe. I use whatever nuts I have available. Sometimes I’ll substitute walnuts or pecans for the cashews. Sunflower seeds can be substituted for the pumpkin seeds, although I don’t like how they taste so I rarely use them. Plus, pumpkin seeds are really good for men! So I’ve been told. By a man.
The same goes for the fruit. Put in whatever sounds good. I use dried cranberries and raisins. In the past, I’ve also used dried papaya, pineapple, banana chips, dried apples, etc. However, some of these ingredients aren’t cheap. Do what works for your budget.
Once you’ve got everything together, combine in a medium or large bowl. Spread the mixture on a couple large, baking sheets. Use baking sheets that have side walls because you’ll need to be able to stir the granola from time to time.
Grease the pans with cooking spray or butter first if placing the granola directly on the metal surface. I don’t like greasing my pans because, because – so much work to clean up afterward. I use oven-grade parchment paper instead.
Bake in the oven at 300 degrees. Set the timer for 30 minutes. When it expires, stir the granola and switch up pan placement. Bake for another 30 minutes. Keep a close eye on it after this. Continue stirring and baking until the granola barely begins to turn golden brown. As soon as you notice the slightest color change, yank it out of the oven. You don’t want it turning color because it will affect the taste in a bad way.
Once the granola is out of the oven and cooled down, sample a bit of it and see how you like the taste.
There are a few different options for storage. You could store it in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Mason jars would also work nicely and could be decorated and set out. I just went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought a huge storage container to put mine in. I combined the granola with a bag or Rice Krispies, to make it go further. Store in a cool, dry place.
Tastes great with your favorite milk and chopped fresh fruit. Also tasty when mixed with yogurt or tossed over ice cream. Enjoy!