I attended arguably the “crunchiest”college in the US- we had our own organic farm and garden, solar powered golf carts for the work crews, a compost so awesome it allowed bones, and it was not unusual to have multiple barefooted people in a class. Somehow though, this is the first time I have ever felt inclined to make my own granola, spurred by my sister in Chile who misses the stuff, and can’t seem to find it abroad.
I started searching the web for a recipe, and found that there were a MILLION, and they’re all really different. So I thought I’d try two- one recipe that involves mostly things you might have in the pantry, and one that’s more… involved. First for the simple one, found on All Recipe- Cinnamon Raisin Granola:
You will need
4 cups organic old-fashioned oats ($1.49 per lb, $1.49)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut ($3.49 per 12 oz, $3.49/4.13cups = $.85)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar ($.99 per 16 oz, $.99/ 2.35 cups = $.42 x .25 = $.11)
1/4 cup vegetable oil ($3.37 per 48 oz, $3.37/ 48oz = $.07 x 2oz = $.14)
1/4 cup honey ($2.99 per 12oz, $2.99/12oz = $.25 x 2oz = $.50)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ($1.97 per 2.37oz, $1.97 x .067 oz = $.13)
1 1/2 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract ($.01 per ml, $.01 x 7.38 ml = $.07)
1 cup raisins ($2.49 per lb, $2.49 x .33 lb = $.82)
|Syrup is ready to pour|
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the oats and coconut together, set aside. Add all remaining ingredients except the raisins in a saucepan, bring to a full boil, and pour the syrup over the oat mixture, and mix thoroughly. Pour it onto a large rimmed baking sheet and spread it out (I patted it down to induce clumps, but I don't think it actually did anything). Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until it's lightly brown. Leave it in the pan till completely cool, mix in the raisins, and store in an airtight container.
It was really simple, it made my kitchen smell delicious, and it actually held some clumps (I love clumps). Mmmm.
And now for the more involved, also from All Recipe- “Megan’s Granola”, slightly tweaked for personal preference. If, like me, you aren’t the type of person to keep things like oat bran and flax seeds in the house, this is where Whole Foods or your local natural food store comes in really handy. Buy them in bulk and you can get only as much as you need for the recipe, they're cheaper that way, anyway.
You will need
4 cups organic rolled oats ($1.49 per lb, $1.49)
¾ cup wheat germ ($2.79 per 16oz, $2.79/ 3.5cups = $.79 x .75 cups = $.59)
¾ cup oat bran ($1.99 per lb, $1.99 x .24lb = $.48)
½ cup flax seeds ($1.99 per lb, $1.99 x .19lb = $.38)
1 cup finely chopped almonds ($8.39 per lb, $8.39/16oz = $.52 x 3.5oz = $1.84)
¾ teaspoon salt ($.47 per 26 oz, $.47/ 30.69 tsp = $.02 x .75 = $.02)
¼ cup brown sugar ($.99 per 16 oz, $.99/ 2.35 cups = $.42 x .25 = $.11)
2 tablespoons maple syrup ($12 per 16oz, $12/16oz = $.75)
¼ cup and 2 tablespoons honey ($2.99 per 12oz, $2.99/12oz = $.25 x 3oz = $.75)
½ cup vegetable oil ($3.37 per 48 oz, $3.37/ 48oz = $.07 x 4oz = $.28)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ($1.97 per 2.37oz, $1.97 x .067 oz = $.13 x ½ = $.07)
½ teaspoon homemade vanilla extract ($.01 per ml, $.01 x 2.46 ml = $.02)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries ($4.69 per lb, $4.69/16oz = $.29 x 4.5oz = $1.32)
Preheat the oven to 325. Mix together the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, flax, and almonds, set aside. Add all remaining ingredients except the cranberries to a saucepan and bring to a full boil. Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly, and pour into a large rimmed baking sheet. The recipe says to bake for 20 minutes, turning once, but mine didn't crisp up enough. I would recommend a little longer, or baking at 350.
This one is definitely a more complex flavor than the basic cinnamon raisin variety, I really love this one!
|Much tastier than it appears in this terrible picture from my phone...|
The Cinnamon Raisin was $4.11 for 1.47lb, or $2.79/lb, and Megan’s was $8.10 for 2.47lb, or $3.28/lb
The bulk granola I used to buy at Whole Foods is $3.49/lb.
Making granola was really easy, and it’s very flexible. As long as you have enough syrup to coat everything, you can put just about anything in it. I would say Try It.