Packaged cereal has become a breakfast staple in America, but we gave it up long ago. In fact, we stopped buying cereal regularly long before I before I began this whole sustainable quest of mine, mostly because even after two (expensive) bowls full of cereal, my boys were hungry again by mid-morning. It just didn’t stick with them. Instead, I make homemade granola and I do it without a recipe. That means no measuring. Which means I can throw together a batch really quickly.
Here’s how I do it:
- Oil the bottom of a large roasting pan to prevent sticking.
- Fill the pan to the halfway point with rolled oats.
- Add “extra” ingredients like puffed millet, chopped nuts, flaked coconut, or sesame seeds (whatever you have in the cupboard) so that the pan is about 3/4 full.
- Pour one-half to one cup of honey or maple syrup over the dry ingredients, stirring it in as you pour.
- Bake in an oven set between 300-350 (F) degrees. (The variable oven temperature allows you to cook the granola while you’ve got something else in the oven, making the most of your heat.)
- Stir every 10-15 minutes* for about an hour or until the granola is toasty brown.
- Once the granola cools down, you can stir in dried fruit like cranberries or raisins if you like.
- Store it in an airtight container.
If you don’t have a large roasting pan or just want to make a smaller batch, these instructions will still work. Just use less sweetener than what I call for here. (Unless you like your granola really sweet, in which case you don’t need to make any changes.) A smaller batch will likely take less time to brown, too, so keep an eye on it.
*Use a timer or I guarantee you will step outside only to find that the dog has run off with one of your shoes and while you’re off looking for it you’ll discover that someone left the hose on causing a minor flooding issue that you need to remedy Right Now and while you’re here you might as well put a load of laundry going. And when you smell something burning you will think, “Oh, those neighbors! Burning something again.” until you realize that the smell is actually coming from your own kitchen even though you can’t quite remember if you have anything on the stove. I know of which I speak.
Does your family eat granola? Or are they stuck on boxed cereals? Do you think they’d be willing to make a switch?