Easy Homemade Granola

So last week I posted the “winner” of my facebook question: “What recipe do you want on the blog next week?” (which of course was my duo of delicious Mexican side dishes) but I figured the vote was so close I better share the runner up as well. Here ya go, my granola lovin’ friends!

This recipe is so quick and easy, I even let my toddler in on the fun! I recently gave cooking with Buddy a whirl and it has gone surprisingly well! At just barely 2-years-old, he has enough composure to not only stand still on a chair next to me the entire time, but also to dump full measuring cups of ingredients into the bowl without being tempted to chuck them into the next room…which the new carpet and his clean-freak mother appreciates. 😉 That kid continues to amaze me every day. I really don’t give him near enough credit for all the things he can do and how mature he is for his age. (And then he throws a 20 minute tantrum about not being allowed to watch Bob the Builder on repeat all afternoon and I am quickly reminded that the 33 pound, sweaty, snotty mess in my lap is still only 2…but that’s a whole other story.) Anyway, back to the granola. If you can dump things in a bowl, turn on your oven & set a timer, you can make this! And the best part (besides it being insanely yummy) is you’ll be done in 15 minutes!

Easy Homemade Granola (from Another Lunch…check out her site. I LOVE the idea of “bento boxes” for school lunches…so cute!)

2 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup rice krispy cereal (use organic brown rice krispies to make this even healthier!)

1/2 cup brown sugar (I don’t pack mine but I do mound it on a little bit to make up for this.)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips (original recipe calls for mini chips…I almost always use regular just because it’s what I have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour all ingredients in a large bowl.

Easy Homemade Granola

Stir. Or better yet, if you have a toddler handy, let him stir.

Easy Homemade Granola

Pour granola out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Easy Homemade Granola

After 5 minutes, take the granola out, stir/turn with a spatula, and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Easy Homemade Granola

After another 5 minutes has passed you will likely see that some of the granola is starting to…uh…congeal? See the congealation (what?! Totally just made up a word…my husband is cringing) right at the edge of the pan? I realize I took these pics with my iPhone (remember…I was cooking with a toddler…no time for the fancy camera this time) so the picture quality is not the best. Regardless…look for some “coagulation” (there we go) around the edges. Then it’s done!

Easy Homemade Granola

I usually give mine one last flip, scoot it closer to the center (I like some clumps in mine and this helps that process along) and allow it to cool while I take Buddy downstairs to play Bob the Builder with his tool bench in the basement. Ah yes, I know this episode well…it’s the one where Bob’s cozy coupe truck gets a flat tire…for the third time this week. Can we fix it? Yes we can!

Easy Homemade Granola

Once the granola is thoroughly cooled, I toss it into an airtight canister and pop it in the pantry.

Easy Homemade Granola

A batch this size usually yields about 8 servings at our house…if I don’t eat a bunch of it before it even makes it into the canister. (Guilty.) I have been known to double the batch if I know we’re having a crazy week and even though it’s insanely easy I won’t have a chance to make more. A day without homemade granola is hardly a day at all.

My favorite way to eat this granola is to throw some low fat vanilla yogurt in a bowl, sprinkle granola over it, and top with berries. Today, I chose raspberries. So delicious! And lookie there…three food groups in your breakfast! Boom! Your day is off to a balanced start already! You’re welcome.

Easy Homemade Granola

A few options for this granola:

1. Press into mini muffin tins (spray them well for easy removal) and bake until golden brown on top for easy granola bites (8-10 minutes.)

2. Sub raisins in place of the chocolate chips and add a few sprinkles of cinnamon to change the flavor profile (I love this but Hubby and Buddy prefer the chocolate…sheesh.) 😉

3. It just occurred to me (duh) that I could use any chopped dried fruits and it would likely be delicious! Look out world…I see more flavors coming soon! And if you don’t have nut allergies in your house like we do, you could add all kinds of nuts!

4. Melissa over at Another Lunch also mentions adding ground flax seed or wheat germ to “bump up the nutritional value” but I have never done this. Might need to give it a try!

Have you ever made homemade granola? How does your recipe differ? What about the flax seed/wheat germ? Any tips for incorporating these?

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