I’ve not really ever been a granola fan. I find it too sweet and yet not sweet enough, bland, and overly chewy. Ross on the other hand loves granola. We usually buy Roger’s Hazelnut Honey Flavour which, according to the Thrifty Foods online shopping system, checks in at $4.99 for a 700gram package although it’s on sale for $3.99 right now. This is not really that expensive. The package suggests that the service size is 1/2 cup. And at 700grams in the package, there are just over 12 servings in the package, checking in at about 35 cents a serving if we were to buy it at the sale price, which is pretty impressive. But regardless of it’s great cost, I find it bland and chewy and (forgive me) simply too...oaty.
For Christmas this past year, Ross’ folks gave us a hamper of homemade goodies – jams and BBQ sauce and what not, and in there was a large ziploc of homemade granola. I tried some and was impressed with the texture and flavour. I asked for the recipe from Ross’ mom and this weekend, I made my own batch. In terms of cost, I don’t think it is as cheap per serving as the packaged stuff. But it tastes a heck of a lot better, and it has completely converted me to granola. I eat it with Greek-style super thick vanilla yogurt and at the rate I’m eating it, we’ll need another batch within a few weeks. This batch yielded about 12 cups of granola, so that’s 24 servings and if you want your house to smell 100% awesome, bake some of this stuff. Best air freshener ever.
As with all my recipes, T = tablespoon and t = teaspoon. The ingredients list might seem a little long, but you’ll be happy with the amazing flavours and textures. Get to know your bulk foods section, and try and buy only what you’ll use relatively quickly – these things can stale out fairly fast.
- 3 c large rolled oats
- 1 c wheat bran
- ½ c wheat germ
- ½ c oat bran
- 1 c unsweetened coconut
- ½ t salt
- ½ c sesame seeds
- ½ c raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ c unsalted roasted or raw sunflower seeds
- 1 c unsalted almonds, sliced
- 2 T cinnamon
- ½ c sunflower oil
- ¼ c water
- 1 c maple syrup (don’t scrimp here: use real stuff)
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 c dried cranberries
- ½ c dried apricots, sliced
Notes: I also added some crumbled up apple chips I had kicking around from the market, and I also added about ¾ c of chia seeds (they are crazy expensive but very high in fibre and high in protein as well). I also was generous with the cinnamon – we LOVE cinnamon in this house.
- Preheat oven to 250°F – you’re going for slow and low here. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Adjust your oven shelves so that they are large enough to have both baking sheets as close to the middle as possible.
- In a large bowl combine the first 11 ingredients (and the chia, if you choose to add chia). Mix it up well.
- In a separate bowl combine oil, water, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Divide the granola between the 2 baking sheets and pack down over the entire sheet.
- Bake for about 1 ½ hrs, stirring every 15 minutes. Swap the racks half way through. The granola should be dry, golden brown, and crunchy.
- Let cool and stir in dried fruit.
- Try not to eat it in giant handfuls, promise yourself breakfast only, and enjoy!