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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The frugal breakfast solution: granola

we buy oats in 25 lb sacks
I make granola once a week. It's what we use for cold cereal.  The cost is about 45-50 cents a batch and makes about 5 cups, or about 8-10 servings. It takes me 5 minutes of hands-on time, and about 30 minutes of baking time (I just have to be around the house).

Granola is somewhat dense as a breakfast food, so we "cut it" with banana slices, apple chunks, or berries. Or, we pour applesauce or rhubarb sauce over it. And it makes a great base for homemade granola bars (recipe here).

Here's a not too sweet recipe:

1/4 cup butter, margarine or oil
1/4 cup brown sugar (or scant 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 Tablespoon molasses)
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 heaping cups oats
(optional: 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds or raw, chopped nuts)
(optional: 1 cup chopped dried fruit or raisins)

In a large microwaveable bowl, put butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and water. Microwave on HI until the butter is completely melted. Stir all together. Add oats and combine well. (If adding nuts, stir in now).

store granola in an airtight container
Spread in a large, metal (not pyrex), buttered baking pan (something shallow with sides).

Bake at 325 degrees F, for 25-30 minutes total. After 20 minutes, remove from oven and stir, especially moving granola from the edges to the center.

When done, it should be golden.  (If adding dried fruit, mix in now). Stir again, and allow to cool in baking pan.


  1. Great idea! I love granola but the pre-made packages at stores are so expensive.

    1. Aren't they, though? The other thing I like about making my own, is that I can make mine how I like. If I want dried fruit or nuts, I can add that. If I want to boost the protein, I can sub peanut butter for the butter. And saving money is never a bad thing!

  2. I've only just starting making my own granola and I could almost kick myself for not doing it years ago - so much cheaper than the boxes, and I can make it just how I want it. The first time I tried it the recipe wasn't good, and it scared me off from trying it again for a long time, but I'm very glad that I finally gave it another try with a different recipe! :)

    1. Hi Sheila,
      yes, the recipe does make a difference, doesn't it? What I can't believe is just how easy it is to make granola. What's in the recipe that you've found that you like? Do you add fruit or nuts?


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