I have come to learn that granola is pretty much one of the easiest things to make. So why in the world does it cost $56234.36 at the grocery store? Ok, maybe not that much, but sheesh it’s a lot! Whenever I see some half-filled jar of possible granola ingredients in the fridge..well then, I guess it’s time to make granola! I almost always have the dry ingredients on hand, so it’s the “wet stuff” that triggers a batch of granola.
Here’s what I used today:
Oats, sunflower seed, slivered almonds and dried cranberries were my ingredients of choice today. As you can see, I’m a visual person and keep most of my goodies in jars and other clear containers. Then I know how much I have of everything 🙂 I just eyeballed the amounts and emptied all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (Note: do NOT add any fruit until after the granola is baked. That will just make an icky mess)
Now, what triggered the granola project was an almost-empty jar of apple butter in the fridge. ( I hate that I had to buy some. I didn’t make near enough this fall!) so here’s how much was left:
Not quite enough to make my granola. No worries. I just added some Maple Praline syrup to the apple butter and whisked that together. NOW I had enough moisture to add to the dry ingredients!
So I added the wet ingredients to the dry. You want to have just enough moisture to coat the dry ingredients. If your mixture is too wet, it won’t dry out in the oven and will burn instead. It should look like this:
Now lay it out on a cookie sheet (since I used syrup, I sprayed it with a little spray first) and bake in a 325 degree oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, turning it every 10 minutes or so. Make sure you are keeping a close eye on it during the last 10 minutes of baking time. It can go from golden brown to $^#$% in no time! I tend to take a nibble and if it’s almost there, I turn off the oven and let it sit inside with the oven door propped open for 5 minutes. You can always bake it a little more, but you can’t unbake it! After your granola is baked, let it cool for a few minutes and sprinkle your dried fruit over it. You are done! Here’s some before and afters:
I don’t use granola recipes that contain oils, I just don’t see the need to put additional fats into my body if I don’t have to. I usually make it with homemade apple butter, but you can use any fruit butter (pumpkin is especially yummy in the fall!). Feel free to add any spices to your wet mixture as well. I’ve used cinammon, nutmeg, ginger…all sorts of flavors! I highly suggest you experiment with your own ingredients too, but if you want to play it safe…you can simply use fruit butter and your granola will be fabulous. I promise.
Quick note: Take a look at this scary comparison. I purchased a single serve “granola” cup out of sheer curiosity. Look at the difference! There’s no comparison in my eyes. And mine doesn’t have a list of ingredients that I can’t pronounce.
So the next time you see a little bit of apple butter (or pear butter, or pumpkin butter, or…) make granola! I’m pretty sure you will never buy granola again.