Store-bought granola is expensive, especially considering how cheap it is to make at home. Homemade granola is also endlessly customizable:
Basic granola recipe
6 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c. walnuts
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. raisins
3/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Place a metal 9×13 cake pan over 1 or 2 burners, turned on to low-med. heat. Add the oats and roast them right over the burner, stirring every 1-2 minutes. When they start to look sort of golden and start smelling really good, add the walnuts and sunflower seeds:
Keep cooking and stirring for another good 2-3 minutes, then turn off the burner.
Add the maple syrup and cinnamon. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Remove from oven and stir in raisins. Stir once or twice while it cools. Store in a plastic container or bag in the fridge and it will keep for much longer than it will ever last.
This is our latest version of Bittman’s incredibly versatile granola recipe in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. There are endless variations on this. Obvious ones are to substitute different kinds of nuts and dried fruit. You could also stir in a good generous 1/2 c. of peanut butter; 1/2 stick of melted butter would make it more chunky and rich. Coconut is good in here, as is honey instead of maple syrup. You could also use 1/4 c. molasses and stir in some dried candied ginger. You could be really naughty and add some chocolate chips after it has cooled.
Update, 9/13/09: I want to add a small disclaimer that Nourishing Traditions/WAPF does not recommend granola. Fallon even calls it a “so-called health food.” It’s true that this recipe does not include any soaking or sprouting of the grains, so therefore it’s not going to be as easy to digest and the phytic acid will remain stubbornly in place.
But I have to look at this in terms of relativity sometimes. I like variety! And this is still better than any boxed cereal. Anyway, if there are any WAPF-ers out there who have a sprouted granola recipe, do share.
Update, 3/27/2010: A new variation of this recipe to try: instead of the honey, cinnamon, and raisins, try: brown rice syrup, zest from one orange, and craisins. YUMMY!