Simple, One-Bowl Granola

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Granola in a bowl

 

Generally, granola is the health nut’s answer to breakfast cereal. It’s like your activist cousin that’s obsessed with whales and polar ice caps. Not nearly as fun as your normal cousin, because you have a nagging feeling all their talk about organic gardening might be true.

I like granola, but I will never claim it tastes better than Frosted Mini Wheats. It’s more mindful. It’s full of natural ingredients. And it can be more frugal than cereal even though it’s made with wholesome ingredients.

But is Granola Healthy?

There’s a lot of talk in the real food world about whether granola is actually good for you. Some say you should soak it first. Some say dehydrate it instead of bake it. Some say skip all the oats and make granola from toasted nuts and raisins… which sounds a lot like trail mix to me.

Let’s just assume that any toasted grain covered in sweetener and fat isn’t going to give you the health nut trophy this year.

So why should you make granola?

 

 

Homemade granola might be a good fit if:

  1. You’re just starting to eat healthy, and my talk about soaking and dehydrating makes your head hurt.
  2. You need easy, cold food for breakfasts, and you want to try something homemade.
  3. You love granola and want the cheapest, simplest recipe you can find.

If this is is you, try this granola.

I’ve been making it for 7 years, and we love it. I use this recipe because it’s easy to make as far as granola goes. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan if you need it to be. In the past, I’ve made it more frugal (and friendly towards my texture-sensitive kid) by skipping the coconut and chopped nuts.

It’s also naturally-sweetened. Some granulated sugar would make it more frugal. However, many of us are looking for a sweet breakfast that we can feel better about.

It also doesn’t have chocolate chips or crispy rice cereal or other fun things – there are plenty of other recipes like that. This one is for anyone looking to save some money while tiptoeing into the world of homemade breakfasts. It’s for anyone who may need to accommodate allergies or try something easy. Try this granola.

 

Simple, 1-Bowl Granola

Based on this recipe from Under the High Chair.

Makes 6­-8 cups granola

Author: Stephani Jenkins
Ingredients
  • 5 cups old-­fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)*
  • 1 cup chopped nuts and seeds, or more oats (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, etc.)*
  • 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: Pinch of cinnamon, 1­-2 cups dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates, etc.), 3-4 tablespoons flax seed meal, chia seeds
  • *You can change the ratio of oats to nuts, just keep the overall amount to 6 cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. 

  3. Add oats and nuts to the liquids, stirring thoroughly, until the nuts and liquid are evenly distributed.

  4. Pour granola onto two baking sheets, and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Oats should be no thicker than 3/4-­inch in any given place.

  5. Bake the granola on the middle rack of the oven for 10-­15 minutes, until lightly golden.

  6. Remove pans from the oven, use the spatula to carefully stir the mixture and redistribute it evenly, then place it back in the oven and bake for another 10­-15 minutes, until golden brown. Depending on how thick the layer is, you may need to bake it for an additional 15 minutes. Be careful! It's easy to overbake.

  7. Allow granola to cool, then stir in dried fruit (if using).

  8. Store it in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Serve with yogurt or milk (almond milk works great!).

Recipe Notes

Frugal Tip:

Try substituting 2/3 of the butter or coconut oil with applesauce!

Flavor Variations:

  • Autumn Granola: Maple syrup, cranberries, pecans, raisins, dates
  • Trail Mix Granola: Peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins (and chocolate chips... just sayin’)

  • Pumpkin Spice: Replace half the fat with pumpkin puree and add pumpkin spice, cranberries, pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), and pecans
  • Tropical Twist: Use coconut oil (or part coconut oil and part butter), coconut flakes, and dried pineapple, bananas, and mangoes
  • Other delicious additions: Pistachios, dates, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, chopped apricots, etc.

 

Ingredients for Granola

 

Granola spread in the pan

 

Need More Breakfast Ideas? 

 

What You Can Do Now:

    1. Check if you have the ingredients, and add any that you need to your grocery list. 
    2. Save this recipe on Pinterest (click the photo below) so you can find it again easily.

 

One of the easiest granola recipes you'll find. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan if you need it to be. Uses no refined sugar, and you can make it low-fat with an easy hack. From CheapskateCook.com

 



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