This easy and flexible formula lets you whip up a batch of granola based on your preferences and the ingredients you have on hand.
I’ve talked about my serious lack of breakfast creativity and how we eat oatmeal nearly daily. I mean, pumpkin oatmeal is pretty out of the box for us around here. And things like blueberry scones tell the daughter and husband that clearly I want something and am buttering them up (literally?).
If it’s not oatmeal for breakfast as the staple of the week, then it’s granola and yogurt (which, to be fair, is made up of a huge percentage of oats).
And as much as I like to experiment, try fancy new recipes, vary my meals, things like that, I’m pulling the mom-card and admitting that I need a few basics I can rely on. Staples that I have memorized or can make by look and feel. Things that can be easily adapted to those “Oh crap!” moments when I thought I had an ingredient in the pantry, but alas, do not, and cannot bear the thought of taking 45 minutes (at best!) to get the toddler and newborn ready for a grocery run.
And so my granola saves the day!
I’ve included a “recipe” at the bottom so these instructions can be easily printed, but here’s my fully-customizable, pretty foolproof, yet undeniably satisfying granola formula,based on the picture below.
- Pile 1: 4 cups of old fashioned oats
- Pile 2: 2 cups of a few varieties of nuts or seeds (I love hazelnuts and pecans in granola. Also, I typically buy chopped or sliced nuts, and make sure they’re not roasted, salted, or anything else other than raw.)
- Pile 3: 1/2 cup of wheat germ, oat bran, or flax seed
Bowls 4 and Pile 5 get boiled in a small saucepan and then stirred into the big bowl.
- Bowls 4: 1/2 cup of a neutral oil (coconut, vegetable, etc.) and 1/2 cup of a sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, or a combination of them)
- Pile 5: Fill your measuring spoons (tablespoon, teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon) in this order: cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and salt
Bake the granola on a large baking sheet at 350° for 20-25, stirring once in between, until the granola is golden brown. Don’t wait for it to get crunchy! This happens as it cools.
Add any fun stuff from Pile 6 (chocolate chips, dried fruits, chia seeds, coconut, etc.) before the granola has completely cooled off. Once it’s cool, store it in an air tight container.
I love how completely forgiving this is. It’s one of those back-pocket “recipes” (I really think formula is a better word) that I can make the same, week after week, or modify completely if I want a bit of variety (or am missing half the ingredients).
Anything that reduces the likelihood of my two year old learning to mutter “Oh crap!” from me in the kitchen is a win.
- 4 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups nuts or seeds (2-4 varieties, raw)
- ½ cup wheat germ, oat bran, flax seed or other course grain
- ½ cup neutral oil (coconut, vegetable, etc.)
- ½ cup sweetener (maple syrup, honey, etc.)
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. ginger
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Optional: raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Stir first three ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine oil, sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately pour over oat mixture.
- Spread granola over prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway in between, until granola is golden brown (it will not be crunchy/crispy in the oven!).
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before stirring in any optional extras.
- Cool completely and store in an air tight container.