Thursday, March 29, 2012

Granola Cereal

Here's a super easy recipe for homemade granola that I have been making for my family for the past month or so. I love it because you can make it as elaborate as you want, adding all kinds of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit to the mix, but you can also keep it very wallet-friendly by keeping it simple.

In a large bowl, stir together 3 cups oats, 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal (you know, the kind that costs $1.00 per bag...I actually like to put the puffs into the food processor first and pulse it a few times to create a better texture...), 1/4 cups unrefined cane sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, and a couple of pinches of salt.

In a small bowl or a measuring cup, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup molasses, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread on a large baking pan (I line mine with wax paper first for easy cleanup) and put into a 250 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every half hour, until lightly browned (The cereal will get crunchier as it cools down). If you want walnuts, pecans, etc., add them about halfway through the cooking process. Let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Stir in dried fruit at the end if desired.

I estimated the cost of this cereal (without nuts or other add-ins) to be roughly $2.00 for the batch. Definitely worth it for us, to pay about the same or a little less than store-bought cereal and know exactly what is in it!

Yummy. We love this with almond milk and frozen blueberries. Enjoy!

***Edit: I have since made this with any combination of maple syrup, molasses, and honey to equal 1/2 cup liquid sweetener, and it has turned out great each time.