Sunday, May 6, 2012

Easy Overnight Granola - 10 Ways

It's National Teacher Appreciation Week, so on behalf of our PTO, I whipped up a triple batch of my Easy Overnight Granola over the weekend and made individual bags to give to the staff at my girls' school on Monday morning.  I placed a decorative napkin, plastic spoon, snack bag of granola, a banana, and a yogurt in a white lunch sack with a quote about being appreciative of our great teachers.  They were welcomed with a Breakfast to Go bag in their mailboxes.

I love this Easy Overnight Granola!  I make a batch just about every week, and we eat it for breakfast or snacks.  I have tried some other recipes, but I keep coming back to this basic, no frills recipe.  I love it because it is so simple, and I have learned various ways to add variety to suit individual tastes using the same basic recipe.  I thought I'd share some of the ways we have given this basic Easy Overnight Granola recipe our family favorite flavor twists.

Easy Overnight Granola

1.  Straight up!
My littlest one loves to sit at the counter and eat the broken pieces of granola when I put it in the ziploc bag.  She loves picking out the big chunks from the cookie sheet and popping them right in her mouth! 

2.  With "creamy milk" on top
Vanilla Soy Milk or Coconut Milk are referred to as "creamy milk" in our house.  I often pick these up when they are cheaper than regular milk with coupons or in store specials.  My 8 year old insists that the "creamy milk" makes the granola tastes sweeter.

3.  On top of a cup of yogurt
Yoplait is selling these little granola parfaits; maybe you've seen them in the store.  It's just a cup of yogurt with a cute little container on top of plain granola.  We make our own parfaits using whatever yogurt and fruit we have in the frig and then sprinkling a bit of the granola on top.  Tastes just like Yoplait's for much cheaper.  I like the Greek yogurt best!

4.  Smores Style
Toss in a few chocolate chips, teddy grahams (or graham crackers broken into pieces), and mini marshmallows on top of a bowl of granola.  We eat this with or without milk on top.  I recently found some dried mini marshmallows from Kraft on clearance for 25 cents at Kroger, and these are great with the granola.  Tastes just like the Quaker Oats Smores Granola bars.

5.  Fruit and Nuts
I like to throw on a few dried fruits and nuts on top of my granola.  I have tried roasting the nuts with the granola, but I have had better luck just adding them onto the granola afterwards.  I can customize the granola for whatever kind of nuts I have on hand, and I don't have to hear the complaint, "I don't like nuts in my cereal!"  I like adding raisins, craisins, or dried blueberries.   This also makes a great on the go snack mix with just the right combination of crunchy, sweet, and salty.  Toss in a few M&Ms or chocolate chips if you need some extra sweet.

6.  Chocolate Cherry Granola
For Valentine's Day, we made bags of granola and added dark chocolate chips and dried cherries.   You could add to the decadence of this by pouring chocolate milk on top. 

7.  Big chunks dipped in applesauce
The 3 year old also likes dipping big chunks of the granola in a bowl of applesauce.  This is best enjoyed with a fresh batch straight from the oven so you can make BIG pieces.  (She's my dip girl.  She probably would try the granola in ranch dressing, but I haven't offered that as a choice.)

8.  Tropical
Add some banana chips, coconut, dried mango or pineapple, and macadamia nuts.  This combination makes a wonderful snack mix.

9.  On top of ice cream
Need an impromptu dessert?  Take a bowl of vanilla ice cream, add some granola, chunked apples, and caramel sauce.  Tastes kind of like an apple crisp ala mode.

10.  With banana and peanut butter
One of my favorite on the go breakfasts is a whole wheat tortilla spread with peanut butter, topped with a banana, and then rolled up.  One day I added a handful of granola.  The crunch was a nice addition, and the cinnamon flavor was a great companion to the peanut butter and banana.

That's just some of the ways we have enjoyed this recipe in the last several months.  My young chefs are always trying out new flavor combinations.  We'll keep you posted on any new ones we feel need to be shared!

How will you enjoy your next batch of Easy Overnight Granola?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, love all the ways you posted. I guess I need to be more creative with my granola!