Recipe-free Granola

Cook, Main

Hi folks! I wrote this in hope of inspiring you to make your own granola, foregoing the sugar filled store bought options. Your body and wallet will be ever so pleased. It’s so easy-you don’t even need a recipe! The only store bought granola I’ve found that I approve of is the popular Kind brand, because of  its’ low sugar and high whole grain and fiber content. However, we really only buy it if it’s on sale, which isn’t very often. We go through a lot of granola, so the cost adds up quickly. If you keep any form of whole grain, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. in your kitchen than you’re in luck. There are endless granola recipes on the internet, so let this just be a basic guide to learn and then add your special touches. Keep reading to see how I made ours this week.

Sprinkle some quick cooking oats and nuts on a baking sheet. I happen to have a surplus of almonds currently. Pecans and walnuts are great options and usually my preference. Additionally, you could used whole oats, quinoa, millet or whatever grain you have! Using quick cooking oats lends a crispier granola. Quick cooking oats are just cut up whole oats for faster cooking. If you’re wanting a more clumpy granola try rinsing your oats so they’re damp. They will hold together more when baking. Target sells a hot breakfast cereal of quinoa and oats that I find makes really nice clustered granola as long as you wet it.

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Moving on. Next add some flaked coconut if you have some for a nice crunch.

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Then add some chia seeds or ground flax. Chia seeds pack a ton of goodness including fiber, protein, healthy fats, magnesium and calcium. For being so small, they’re pretty powerful. Flax seed offers similar health perks, but must be ground up or soaked in water for a while for your body to reap the benefits.

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Next drizzle it all with some olive oil and honey. Other options include melted butter, safflower oil, grape seed oil, agave or maple syrup. You don’t need much. Just a light coating. You could also add a teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract.

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Then sprinkle some cinnamon on top and toss it all together with your hands. You could alternatively do this in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, but I am always looking for ways to cut back on the amount of dishes I dirty. Piling everything directly onto the baking tray and using your hands will save you two dishes. Every little bit counts! Spread the mixture out and toast in the oven on 350 for 15-20 minutes until coconut is fragrant and golden brown. All of these items can be consumed raw, so it is better to under toast than over. The toasting is more to enhance and meld the flavors and increase the crunch. Don’t have chia seeds or coconut? Skip those steps and just toast your oats and nuts of choice. You really can’t go wrong with as much or little ingredients as you want in granola.

The finished product will look similar to this. Serve with fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast or mix in dried fruit for a healthy, hearty snack. Store in an air tight container for a week or so. Voila! Let me know if you give this a try and how it goes. Happy granola making! -Addie


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4 thoughts on “Recipe-free Granola

  1. Addie, thanks for reminding me about making granola. Granola is very easy, but your recipe makes it even easier! I never thought about using such a free hand with the ingredients, duh. (Maybe because I have always used my mother’s in-law recipe and to break with the recipe might be nigh unto treason — or something.) I am definitely going to use your method the next time (tomorrow) that I make granola. Such freedom!

    1. Hi Terri! Oh I’d hate (but maybe be a bit honored) for you to neglect your mother-in-laws recipe! But if you do let me know how you like it. I think it’s crispier and has a less hearty feel with quick cooking oats rather than whole.

      P.S. I am all about not using recipes, likely because I’m horrible at following directions. Probably should work on that!

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