Bob’s favorite breakfast these days is fresh fruit topped with Greek yogurt and granola. Reasonable, right? Only thing is, it’s a generous helping of all three, piled up high like a mountain. A mountain of fruit, I tease him.
So we’ve been plowing through these breakfast staples pretty quickly. Being my dad’s daughter I’m, ahem, frugal in many ways. It irks me to pay a lot for food that I can easily make at home.
Like granola. Paying $15 for one kilogram of it seems like a lot to me, especially when we plow through a bag so quickly. So I set out to make my own.
Making granola is a super simple process and doesn’t require any magic ingredients or techniques. Bring together dry ingredients like oats, nuts and seeds, mix in some liquid sweetener (honey, applesauce) to help bind it together, then bake in a low oven until it’s crisp. So easy.
My version here aimed to come close to Terra Breads’ artisan granola, an indulgent mix of whole cashews, chewy oats and big ribbons of coconut. The one thing I wanted to change is to make it gluten free (by using gluten-free oats and eliminating any other grains).
Ooh la la, it turned out great! It has a lovely crisp-chewy texture, and I think adding in some cinnamon was a brilliant move. It gives a wonderfully cinnamon-y fragrance but doesn’t taste overpowering in the least.
The great news is it makes a lot, about 19 cups, or almost two kilograms. That’s enough to sprinkle on Bob’s fruit mountains for more than a week. Whew!
So this is granola #1. What would I change in version #2? Hmmm…I think I’d prefer slightly less millet and less sweetener, plus I’d like to have bigger clumps of granola, too. Other than that it’s pretty much perfect granola.
And, frugal girl, is it cheaper than store bought? I’ll say yes, definitely. That’s what my intuition says.
UPDATE February 8: My intuition was right!
The cost of ingredients was $23.99. Since the recipe made 1.9 kilograms of granola, it works out to $12.63 per kilogram — almost $5.00 cheaper than the artisan store-bought kind. Yippee!
In case you’re wondering, here’s a breakdown of the cost of ingredients. Everything except the salt, that is. I got the prices from Famous Foods, a gem of a store that I shop at regularly:
- Millet – $1.12
- Gluten-free Rolled Oats – $5.61
- Raw Cashews – $5.61
- Natural Sliced Almonds – $2.20
- Coconut Ribbons – $0.65
- Sunflower Seeds – $0.51
- Sesame Seeds – $0.60
- Flax Seeds – $0.34
- Light Brown Sugar – $0.26
- Cinnamon – $0.09
- Organic Applesauce – $1.31
- Clover Honey – $2.68
- Walnut Oil – $0.76
- Dried Cranberries – $0.76
- Raisins – $0.97
- Dates – $0.53
I also updated the recipe with the weight equivalents of each ingredient. If you have a scale handy, it’s faster (and more accurate) than using volume measures like cups and teaspoons.
- 1/2 cup millet (91g), soaked in 1 cup water (then drained and added to wet ingredients before mixing with dry ingredients)
- 6 cups gluten-free rolled oats (566g) (like Bob's Red Mill brand)
- 2 cups raw cashews (284g)
- 1 cup natural sliced almonds (100g)
- 1-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut ribbons (80g)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (77g)
- 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (68g)
- 1/2 cup flax meal (52g)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (82g)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (6g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (227g)
- 1 cup honey, divided (160g)
- 1/4 cup walnut oil (50g)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (70g)
- 1 cup raisins (150g)
- 3/4 cup chopped dates (119g)
- In a small bowl, soak the millet in 1 cup of water. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- In a large bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients -- oats, cashews, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax meal, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until they're combined evenly.
- In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients -- applesauce, 1/2 cup honey and walnut oil -- and stir until evenly combined.
- Drain the millet, add it to the granola and stir until it's incorporated.
- Add the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to coat evenly.
- Pour the granola out on two large baking sheets. You're aiming to divide the mixture between the two, in a single layer, so that the granola bakes evenly.
- Place the sheets in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the granola is toasty brown, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure it browns evenly.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven, drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup honey over top and let cool.
- Pour the cooled granola into a large bowl and add the dried fruit. Stir until the fruit is evenly distributed.
- Store granola in an airtight container.