This is my personal homemade granola recipe that has been in development for some time now. I think you can make a pretty good case for baking homemade granola. It’s delicious, first of all; do you know anyone who doesn’t like granola? It’s hearty and simple with a great texture, and makes you feel like maybe you should go hiking. But it’s also too expensive to buy, which is the second reason to make it yourself. Granola is the box of cereal that you don’t eat at other people’s houses because you feel selfish. “They don’t really mean I can have whatever I want, because what I want is to eat that entire tiny $5 box of clumpy oats over there on the shelf.” The price of granola is some kind of racket, especially when you consider reason number 3 to make homemade granola: it’s super easy. And cheap. And still delicious.
Before we start the recipe though, let’s acknowledge one thing: everyone likes granola, but everyone also likes their granola different. If you don’t believe me, it’s because you haven’t quizzed any of your friends on their granolial (not a word) preferences. (And why wouldn’t you be doing quizzes like that?) Some people like it crumbly, where the oats hardly stick together, while others basically want most of a granola bar in their cereal. Some like granola chewy, more liked baked oatmeal, and some would like to break their teeth on the stuff. As soon as you make your homemade granola you’ll start hearing way more opinions than you would reasonably expect about how it “should” have been.
So in developing this recipe I’ve made some effort to figure out how to get different results according to your preferences. I’m a clumpy crunchy guy, personally.
Homemade Granola Recipe
3 cups rolled oats(“quick” oats may not work as well)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tb vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tb honey
1 tb light corn syrup
If you play it right, this recipe will cost you around $1.50 in ingredients. Try to find the oats at a bulk store in bags, or get those big cardboard cylinders at the grocery store.
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
If you’re using rolled or whole oats, mix 2 cups with the coconut flakes and process in a food processor until they’re more broken up. In a bowl mix them with the rest of the oats, cinnamon, ginger, flour, and salt.
For clumpy granola: pour the milk and vanilla into the oats mixture and stir around until all the oats are moistened and clumped. Allow to sit and absorb for a few minutes while you do other things before continuing.
Over low heat, combine the sugar, honey, corn syrup, and oil with a splash of water in a small saucepan. Stir while heating until the sugar has dissolved and the whole mix is fairly warm.
For flaky granola: Add the milk, vanilla, and sugar syrup all together to the oats, and stir thoroughly to evenly coat the oats. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet.
If you’re still on the clumpy track, drizzle the syrup over the oats and fold in gently. When the sugar is fully mixed in to the oats, press the whole team into a sticky ball. Transfer your ball to the cookie sheet and break it into large chunks or press it into a large flat mass on the pan. You can always break it even smaller later on if your clumps are too big.
Bake at 300° for 30-40 minutes, stirring and flipping the granola every 10 minutes. The reason for the low temperature is to give the oats a gentle, even cooking without burning parts of it. You can try a higher baking temp, but you’ll have to watch more carefully and you may have to remove some granola before the rest of it if it’s overcooking.
For chewy granola: remove the pan when the granola is golden but not brown, and still has some give in its texture. Feel free to taste it to check.
For crunchy granola: bake until the whole bunch is golden brown and even darker brown in spots. Remove before the granola is hard to the touch. It will continue to dry and harden as it cools, so if you wait until it feels that way in the oven, you’ll probably have rock-hard, burnt-tasting oats on your hands.
Cool the mix, store in a large container, and enjoy! This can last at least a week, and theoretically longer, but you know you’re going to just eat it. Enjoy!
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