My husband eats more cereal than any person I’ve ever known. Ever. He loves the stuff, and with that much of it going in him, I really want it to be good for him.
It’s not that I don’t trust the national brand cereal companies, but I don’t really. Even the all-natural, organic hippie stuff – I just have enough nerve to think that I could do better given some oatmeal and other random crunchy stuff.
I am that kind of person.
So, I decided to make my own. We stopped buying commercially produced cereal last month and I have been making granola for my love to eat and feel much better about the whole situation. It’s easy, cheap, tasty, healthy and relatively pain-free. I say ‘relatively’ because it *is* so good, one must be careful not to eat too much of one’s own delicious granola and blow oneself up…
Old Fashioned Rolled oats
“The Good Junk” as in; craisins, raisins, chopped nuts, other dried fruits, chocolate chips, peanut butter…
I make this en masse using the ‘we LOVE oatmeal’ sized container of rolled oats, up to a third cup each of maple syrup and coconut oil, a little bit of salt and a ton of “good junk”. It depends on what we’re wanting. I like dried fruits and nuts in mine, so I use a lot of chopped almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, craisins, apricots, prunes, raisins, etc. Alex likes his a little on the sweeter side and hates dried fruit so I’ve made chocolate peanut butter granola for him. I cut the coconut oil amount in half and stir in a good clump of peanut butter then half a bag of chocolate chips. Last batch I made maple butterscotch with maple syrup and butterscotch chips. Yum… he loved it.
Everything gets stirred together well (except the dried fruit – which I have learned from experience will harden during the cooking process) and then I cook it over low heat in my big cast iron skillet in three batches until the oats are golden brown and the millet starts to pop. It takes some time to do it this way, and I stir it quite often to keep it from scorching. You could bake it in the oven, but mine is a little unreliable so I just skip it and use the stove top. Once the granola is cooked, it goes onto a baking tray to cool. It’s pretty neat, the chocolate or butterscotch chips melt and make ‘clusters’ of oats and nuts and ‘stuff’ when they cool.
When everything is all cooled off, the fruit gets mixed in and it goes back into the big oatmeal container and into the cupboard, ready to be consumed at will.
I dare say we can make breakfast cereal with the best of them…