I started experimenting with different granola recipes this summer. The Cereal Monster gets her love of cereal from her dad. He starts every day with a bowl full of grain-filled goodness. He prefers a hearty, nuggety type cereal best (like Grape Nuts or Kashi or granola). As I read others' recipes at creating low cost, homemade cereals, I thought I'd give it a try. While they all were tasty, they were a bit too time consuming for my quick and easy meal preferences.
That is. . . until I came across this recipe for a granola that you bake for 10 minutes and then let sit overnight in your oven. There's no stirring and no worrying that your oats are burning and no setting aside a two hour block in which to bake the granola. I put together a batch in 5 minutes the other night while I waited for the 11 year old to come back from her violin lesson. I spread it out on a large cookie sheet, put it in my already warm oven for 10 minutes, turned off the oven when the timer went off, and then let the magic take place. When we woke up, there was a tray of honey glazed, cinnamony, crunchy, healthy goodness just waiting to be eaten. It doesn't get any easier than that!
Here's the recipe:
7 cups of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1. Place the oats in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the brown sugar, oil, and honey in a pyrex measuring cup.
3. Microwave for 1 min 30 seconds; stir
4. Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the oil/sugar/honey mixture.
5. Pour the spiced liquids over the oats and stir until covered; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.
6. Spread the oats on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
7. Place cookie sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven.
8. Turn oven off after 10 minutes.
9. In the morning, remove pan from oven and break up granola.
10. Store in airtight container or large ziploc bag.
I think what I liked best about this recipe (besides the ease) was the versatility of these simple oats. There are all sorts of ways you can customize them to suit your tastes. Here's an example of how we enjoyed them today at our house:
- I ate mine with a bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast.
- John added nuts, raisins, and M&Ms to make a snack mix to take to work.
- The big girls each had a big bowl with milk as an afterschool snack.
- The 3 year old ate hers with a few mini marshmallows while I finished fixing dinner.
- The 11 year old wants to try some with fresh fruit for breakfast in the morning.
How do you like to eat your granola?