One day, just for kicks, I thought I'd compare the cost of my homemade granola to that of the good stuff at the grocery store or speciality store.
There are plenty of reasons to make homemade food - sauces, dressings, bread, etc. It's healthier, for sure. It's tastier, unless you're a horrid cook. It's more satisfying in many ways. But for Pete's sake, it's cheaper!
A pound of organic granola in my part of the world can cost between $7 and $9. Pretty bag, nice list of ingredients, made by small companies (sometimes).
So I bought all my ingredients for making a regular batch of granola. Using my receipt as a guide, I calculated that I can make the following recipe for about $2.00 per pound. Yes, indeed, using all natural and organic ingredients.
Do I even have to say how much healthier this granola is than a typical box of cereal? Even the good cereals from the health food store, the ones that cost $4 or $5 for a 10-12 ounce box. My granola has whole oats, yummy nuts, butter, pure maple syrup, unsweetened coconut, and plenty of other tasty things.
I often double the batch below. When I do, it makes about 5 quarts of granola. I keep it in quart canning jars in my pantry - easy for the kids to handle. It makes a great breakfast, snack, yogurt topping, and you can mix it with butter and flour and use it as fruit-crisp topping! We usually eat it with milk and dried fruit, in a bowl, duh, right?
(My 12 year old son is now in charge of granola in the Sassy house. He eats the most of it, high time he learned to make it, eh?)
5 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned, not quick cooking)
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
In a large roasting pan, or in a large bowl, mix oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar and salt.
Combine maple syrup, butter, water and extracts. Pour over dry ingredients and mix really well.
If using a roasting pan, bake directly in it. If not, pour granola onto one or two large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, stir, and then continue to bake, stirring every 15 minutes until golden. It should take about 60-75 minutes. Be careful toward the end, it can burn quickly!
Cool completely, stir or break up, and store in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.
Makes 2 1/2 quarts (or so).