Cereal, Homemade Granola, a Holy Cow it’s That Easy? Recipe

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Heather says:

Now that’s summer is nearly here, we’re switching to a cooler morning option, homemade granola cereal. It is a bit more expensive than the plain oatmeal version, but the recipe is dead-easy and significantly cheaper per serving than store-bought granola, even with the nuts.

It takes less than five minutes to mix up and only needs to be stirred once or twice while in the oven. Really, does it get simpler than that?

This homemade granola recipe is a ratio recipe, meaning you can halve it, double it, triple it, whatever you or your family needs. Everything in it is a ratio, so if you double the oats, simply double everything else. It’s not a particularly sensitive recipe, either. You can play around with it and make it your own. If you don’t want to use peanut oil because someone in your family has an allergy, that’s just fine, use coconut or avocado oil. This is a granola recipe, we’re not titrating a life-saving formula.

Have fun with it! Get creative and learn what you like best.

Homemade Granola Cereal

Homemade Granola:

In a large bowl, throw together the following ingredients for the granola. Substitute as you see fit. If you make this for someone with celiac disease, you must use rolled oats that are not processed in a facility that also processes wheat. 

  • 6 cups rolled oats (we prefer thick rolled, do NOT substitute quick cooking)
  • 1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 cup roasted sunflower seeds (or cashews or nut of choice)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

In a small bowl, mix:

  • 1/2 cup honey – do not use honey if you intend to give this to an infant, you can substitute maple syrup or karo syrup in this case (a child under one year old)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (reduce if any of the nuts are salted)
  • 1/2 cup, packed brown sugar
  • a scant (meaning not quite to the line) 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use peanut)

Once this is stirred together, pour it over the oat mixture and stir until distributed evenly.

Really can a recipe be any more simple?

Spread on two baking sheets and bake for 1.5 hours at 250°F, stirring once or twice. The oven doesn’t even need to be preheated.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Now is when you stir in the dried apples, raisins, dried cranberries, whatever floats your boat.

Serve as a homemade, no HFCS breakfast cereal, stir into yogurt, and use ice cream topping.  It also makes a great topping for fruit crisps, but sprinkle it on after baking or just before it is done.

How to keep homemade granola cost-effective.

We love rolled oats in our house.

I buy rolled oats in bulk. And much to the annoyance of the people at Whole Foods, I am the annoying lady who ends up kneeling in front of the stupid bulk bin scooping out 35lbs of rolled oats because I can never get my schedule coordinated enough to remember to pre-order the 50lb bag a week before my schedule takes me to that side of town. My only local source of rolled oats is 45 minutes away, and that can’t be a weekly outing.

*Updated to note* I have now found Quaker Rolled Oats in Bulk at Costco, usually $0.69 a lb or so. That’s a number I can love.

**Update to that update** This post was written 11 years ago and now I have four teenagers who eat me out of house and home. I now buy 95% of my groceries through Walmart’s delivery. It’s about the same price as Amazon prime, it keeps me out of Walmart, which in my part of the country means staying away from people who refuse to wear masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic and keeps me from getting very frustrated with people in general. It’s a win-win.

I may not always be tree-hugging, but I am granola crunching.

What about you?

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30 thoughts on “Cereal, Homemade Granola, a Holy Cow it’s That Easy? Recipe”

  1. We make our granola, too! It's my husband's favorite. We also add in 1/3 cup sesame seeds and 1/2 cup wheat germ. I think there's something else, but I'm forgetting. I'm turning out to be quite sensitive to sugar, so we've cut out the brown sugar and I think it tastes even better (and healthier!) but I realize that could just be me. Enjoy your granola!

    • Oh yeah, this is just a basic recipe, I'm sure there are many variations, You could use buckwheat kernels, for example. I've never actually seen them in the store, but I know it could work.

  2. Help me, all-knowing Home Ec mentor! I'd been making a similar recipe for my family, but then I learned that oats should be soaked overnight before use to break down phytates, which can prevent mineral absorption in the body. What do you know about this? Can you make decent granola from gooey soaked oats?

    Thank you!

    • We eat a fair amount of oats, but in the broader sense we have a varied diet, so I choose not to stress over that particular issue.
      That said, I don't think soaked oats would make good granola, at least not without a fair amount of difficulty.
      Also, please understand I'm not marginalizing your concern, it's just beyond my focus, at this time. 🙂

      • I have made granola with soaking the oats over night. It works well! The reading I've done is that the jury is still out re: soaking oats. Some say it's helpful & necessary, others say helpful but not necessary.

        • For clarification are you talking soaked rolled or steel cut oats? Additionally, do you press the extra moisture out? Just drain?
          And how much longer does it need to be cooked? (These are the steps I thought would make it annoying)

  3. I love granola! We grew up eating it, but Mom rationed it. Not sure why. She never rationed Cherrios or Corn Chex, which are more expensive than homemade granola. I think she didn't want to make it all the time! I don't ration what I make.

    I don't know if I would use peanut oil, though. I once bought some to make a stir fry recipe that called for it, and what I didn't use I put in the fridge. A month or two later it was rancid. IN THE FRIDGE! I prefer coconut oil, which won't go rancid or even alter at that temperature, and it has such a delicious taste! Or I'll use grape seed oil, which doesn't seem to alter the flavor.

    Anyhow, I hope that your readers who haven't tried making their own granola will try it. It's not hard, and sooooo delicious!

    • It's probably a your mileage may vary thing. I've used peanut oil for years (not the SAME oil, mind you) and never had it go rancid. I use coconut oil in pie crust and biscuits, I like peanut oil for its high smoke point and its flavor, but I certainly have nothing against coconut. 🙂

      • Yeah, maybe if I'd used it up instead of letting it sit for so long… 🙂 I use the grape seed oil for the high smoke point, but at 250 that's not really much of an issue either way.

  4. This has been on my mind lately–I was sort of planning, well not planning but wanting, to make some granola but hadn't gotten around to it. I have a cookbook that has a couple of recipes for it, and my husband made it a few times in the past (it was really good). I've recently bought peanut oil to replace corn and canola oil since I read that both corn and canola oil are made from GMO's in the U.S. It may be that peanut is too, but I haven't read that so far. Anyway, I think we'd eat the granola pretty quickly, so I don't expect we'd have to worry about it going rancid. Thanks for the recipe!

    Also, can you maybe buy your oatmeal by mail order more easily? I haven't tried, but it seems like maybe there would be a way to get it in bulk that way too. Since we live up in the mountains, I've learned to buy more and more things by mail, mostly from Amazon. I have bought some groceries from them at pretty good prices.

    • Oats start as "whole groats", which if they are cut in half, become "steel cut" oatmeal. If either instead of cutting or after cutting you run them through steel rollers, you get "rolled oats". Depending on how hard those steel rollers press together, you either get "thick rolled" or more "normal" oatmeal. If you take rolled oats and parboil them and then dry them out, thus partially cooking them, you get "quick cooking" oats. I, like Heather, find all but the quick cook oats useful in some way or other. The quick cook have a nasty texture and much of the flavor is gone.

      For regular breakfast oatmeal, I tend to like a half and half mix of steel cut and thick rolled oats. The texture contrast is really nice.

    • The word cut in this post is a typo. I meant thick rolled oats. J explains it well. We also use steel cut oats, but not in the granola, I haven't experimented with them yet.

  5. The first batch of granola I made, the kids actually thought it was too sweet (!) so I cut the sugar to a heaping quarter cup and a scant 1/2c of honey (using Craisins ups the sugar, too.) And I make a 1/2 batch, spread it on pizza screens (no stirring!) above silicone mats (easy cleanup!) and bake it in my convection microwave at 225º for 30 min, because we like the slightly undercooked, clumpy granola.
    Thanks to granola, we haven't had a box of cereal in the house for almost two years! (And I love summer, because I only need to cook breakfast about twice a week! 🙂

  6. Heather, can't wait to make this over the weekend. I can already picture the additives I want to throw in, after it bakes of course.

    Love getting emails from Home-ec 101. Missing you and the kids.

  7. I love to puree some fruit with honey, brown sugar and peanut butter – then I've found that I can reduce the amount of oil to no more than a couple of Tablespoons (actually, a "glug" or so!) – it bakes up just fine, with an underlying fruity flavor. My current batch of granola has bananas, plenty of peanut butter, cinnamon, dates and roasted peanuts – and it's great.

  8. We love homemade granola. I use the crockpot on low instead of the oven. It takes about 4 hrs, I think. I love the commenter's suggestion of adding wheat germ. I'll try that next time!

  9. We make our own granola all the time! I use my dad's old recipe….he said that you basically don't have to measure as long as you know what it's supposed to smell like…LOL. We use dried apricots, dried apples, raisins, etc….whatever we've got layin around. We have to buy Gluten Free Rolled Oats…by Bob's Red Mill….but even at that crazy "gluten free" price, it's STILL much more cost effective than buying the HORRIBLE gluten free granola that they sell, ready made, at the store. That stuff's AWFUL! When I make this, every BITE gets eaten! Even my 5yr old chows down!

  10. Might want to consider cooking the granola mixture at under 170 degrees for longer if you use nuts. The higher temperatures have bad effects on the oil in the nuts which causes them to be less healthy than low temperature roasted nuts. Most nutritionists will confirm that buying raw nuts and roasting them yourself at lower temperatures will give you a much healthier snack than store bought nuts which are roasted at 250-300 degrees.

    Roasting nuts at a temperature higher than 170F will cause a breakdown of their fats and the production of free radicals. When nuts roasted at the high temperatures used commercially are consumed, the free radicals they contain can cause lipid peroxidation-the oxidizing of fats in your bloodstream that can trigger tiny injuries in artery walls-a first step in the build up of plaque and cardiovascular disease.

    Just some advice to help keep the great recipe you have even better for you.

  11. Ooh, wonderful. My kids eat a boatload of granola – by the handful, with milk, with yogurt…everything. It's too expensive to buy all the time so I limit it. I've made it before but didn't really think about it again. I'm making this tonight while I watch a movie. Couldn't be simpler for a healthy breakfast!

  12. I would to give this a try, but I’m not a fan of coconut. Is there something I can put in instead of the coconut? Or should I cut down the liquids?

  13. Have you ever tried to get oats from a local farm? I buy mine in 25lb. bags of organic rolled oats for about $22. You can do a search for farms in your area at localharvest.org

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    • I have not. I live in South Carolina, so oats aren’t really a major crop around here. Peanuts, any type of mustard green, more peaches than you could ever want, and sweet corn, but grains aren’t that easy to come by.


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