Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homemade Granola on a Budget

I am a granola bar addict - it's one of the few splurges I used to allow in the budget, but with couponing deals becoming more and more difficult to come by, I've finally broken down and given making it a shot.  I'm so glad I did!

I found a few recipes online and in some of my cookbooks, but I didn't have most of the "extra" ingredients that they called for.  So I had to get a little creative....

What I did have on hand was chopped hazelnuts (for $1.99/lb. from Caputos), whole almonds ($2.99/lb.), dark chocolate chips ($1.99/lb.), and maple syrup ($1.29 for a bottle from the last big coupon sale).  I made some quick swaps in and really liked how these turned out.  I made more of a rustic granola versus a neat, compact granola bar, but after making these from scratch, I'm hooked.

There are loads of recipes floating around for homemade granola - I found a lot of them called for expensive ingredients (honey, specialty dried fruits, pecans, etc.) so I made a lot of changes to fit what I already had on hand...and I was too lazy to go to the store, anyway.

I love the idea of having homemade granola on hand, so I did a lot of tweaks to a recipe I found and made half a batch - which is more than enough for 2 people.  Though, in my house, I'm the only granola fan so it made a HUGE batch for me.  Since I've been snacking it off and on since I made it, that's a great sign that the recipe is a keeper.

Feel free to swap in what you love and this will be a great breakfast or treat, perfect for this time of year.  This granola is not very sweet, if you prefer a sweeter snack, I've included an optional amount of brown sugar for sweetness.  When I make it again, I would probably add the brown sugar, as I like it sweeter.

I can't wait to have my newest treat with yogurt in the morning and for a late night snack.

1 1/2 C. oats (quick or rolled oats) ($.25)
1/3 C. whole almonds ($.40)
1/3 C. chopped hazelnuts ($.25)
1/2 C. maple syrup ($.50)
1 T. butter, melted ($.10)
1 T. vegetable oil ($.10)
* 1/4 C. brown sugar ($.10) *this ingredient is optional, if you prefer a sweeter granola
1 tsp. cinnamon ($.05)
1 C. bran or wheat flake cereal (I used Frosted Flakes)($.15)
1/2 C. dark chocolate chips ($.50)

Heat oven to 325.

Toss together oats and nuts and spread evenly on a 13x9" baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Whisk together maple syrup, melted butter, brown sugar (optional), and cinnamon.

Toss together oat and nut mixture with maple syrup blend.

Spread back on pan and return to oven for 12-18 minutes, checking half way through the baking.  The granola is done when it is golden and slightly firm to the touch.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to an airtight container.  Stir in cereal and chocolate chips.

Yields: 3 1/2 to 4 C. granola or 10 servings
Cost: $2.40
Cost per serving: $.24

No comments:

Post a Comment