Simple (and frugal) Granola

I admit it without shame.  I’m a penny pincher.  Why pay such an exorbitant price for store bought granolas full of ingredients that I don’t want let alone don’t like.  And it costs the proverbial arm and leg.

I really love granola.  I eat it every morning with a cup of yogurt as my breakfast.  I’ve been doing this for about two years now as apart of my weight loss/maintenance plan.  You’d think I’d be ready to chuck it out the window because I’m so sick of eating the same thing day after day…but nope.  I LOVE IT!  The texture of this granola is perfect.  The crunch is toothsome and the flavor is controlled by me and the ingredients I chose to add when I made that specific batch.

There’s another reason I choose to make my own granola.  Moms out there, I’m sure you will appreciate this.  I’m trying everyday to get my children to choose and eat healthier snacks.  With this granola, I’m able to sneak some ingredients in there that are so healthy no one is any the wiser.  The most obvious one is oatmeal, which is loaded with fiber and antioxidants.  I also have started adding flaxseed meal.  It has such a subtle flavor you don’t even know it’s there.  Flaxseed also is high in fiber and antioxidants but it also packs an Omega 3 punch.

Yep, the flax is really there! I promise!

Sometimes I add chopped nuts, but not always.  I don’t always have them on hand and I don’t go out of my way to purchase them because they’re typically on the spendier side at the store.  But nuts are definitely the ‘good fat’ you want in your diet  Lastly, for healthy ingredients, coconut.  Yep.  It’s actually pretty good for you!  It’s high in protein and considered another good fat.  I also read somewhere that it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles…well heck, sign me up!!!

Fortunately, my children totally worked WITH me on this, and decided to adore the granola!  They’ve even come up with a few different ways to enjoy it…they eat it on their yogurt, munch on it alone as a snack or as a cereal with milk.  They’ve also went as far as putting it on ice cream!  Even the hubs does that.   But, as you can see from the picture here, the like of demarcation is clearly drawn.

I like my granola with dried fruit.  My kids won’t touch it with that in it.  I think it’s a psychological thing because I’ve still been able to pull one over on the three year old when she’s not looking.  I tell her the ‘red stuff’ is just red granola.  I definitely get the ‘are you schoolin’ me’ look but she shrugs it off and goes to town.  Turns out the eight year old has been schooled one too many times and sees right through me so I’ve had to split it up a bit.  It’s super simple to do that. I just throw some chocolate chips on their side and a few butterscotch chips on my side (my guilty pleasure) with my dried fruit and call it a done deal.

Making your own granola really couldn’t be more simple and it truly is much more inexpensive.  You control the ingredients and you can make the batch as large or small as you like.  Definitely appeals to the inner penny pincher and baker in me!  How about you?  Give this a try and let me know what your favorite ingredients are.  Would love to hear them!

Simple Granola

This granola is so easy and flavorful.  Plus it makes an energizing snack any time of day!

Ingredients:

3 Cups Rolled Oats
1 ½ Cups Flaked Coconut (optional)
¼ Cup Flaxseed Meal (optional)
½ Cup Chopped Nuts (optional)
1 Tbs. Honey
1 Tbs. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8   tsp. Nutmeg(freshly grated is best)
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Dried Fruit (optional)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (optional)
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Grease a large baking sheet and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut, flaxseed meal, and nuts together.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, vegetable oil and salt.  Mix well.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Microwave for additional 20 seconds and stir well.

4. Pour wet ingredients over oat mixture and thoroughly combine.

5. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and stir granola.  Place baking sheet back in oven for additional 10 minutes.  Remove and stir one more time and place baking sheet on wire rack to cool completely.

6. When granola is cool, add dried fruit, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips.  Mix well.  Store in an airtight container.

Tip: This granola recipe is very versatile.  Add your favorite baking chips or dried fruit.  Or completely leave them out.  Feel free to get creative and make it your own!

Makes:  Approx. 6 Cups

This post is partying over at:Savvy Southern Style

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27 thoughts on “Simple (and frugal) Granola

  1. Pingback: Chocolate Energy Bars, Fuel for your Day! | Cookin' Up Good Times

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