As we dig further and further in to a self-sufficient, food-storage inspired lifestyle, I’m always on the hunt for new things to make that I either a) don’t want to spend the money on at the store, or b) don’t like the GMO or added ingredients in the store-bought variety. Happily, granola fits the bill on all criteria. It’s easy to make, uses food storage supplies, tastes really good, is stupid-expensive at the store, and has undesirable ingredients when it’s store-bought.
I made granola bars last year and love them – but finding the right proportions on a loose granola was a little trickier for me. I’m pretty good with substituting things, and although I used a recipe from Food Storage Made Easy as my base, my actual recipe really doesn’t look very much like the original. Funny how that happens sometimes! We love this to snack on or in my Greek-style yogurt (regular goat-milk yogurt that is strained for 12 hours).
It’s easy for me to burn my granola – I’d love to blame the dumb oven in this apartment completely, but I think lowering my second-bake time from 20 minutes to 10 is the way to go.
Another trick I use is to plump up the dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries – your choice) in heated, distilled water before using them. When I do this, I don’t end up with little hard pieces of charcoal that once were raisins – they actually look and taste like raisins! Adding the moisture to the raisins first insures that you’re not dehydrating them too much in the oven. It’s a worthwhile step and is easy to cover the raisins with water and simmer them for a bit before adding them to the raw granola.
Sue’s Homestyle Granola
- 4 c. of quick oats (or regular – I have quick oats stored, though)
- 2 c. of chopped almonds
- 1 c. roasted sunflower seeds (this adds a certain YUM to the finished product)
- 1 c. raisins/dried cherries/craisins (your choice), rehydrated & drained
- 2 T. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. coconut oil
- 2 t. vanilla
- 1 t. Real Salt
- 3/4 c. honey
Put the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer and begin adding in the wet items – the raisins, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey. Allow the mixer to do the blending until everything looks evenly incorporated. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 20 min. at 350F. Stir at the 20 minute-mark (scraping the tray and turning the granola over as you do) and stick the tray back in for another 10 minutes. Remove tray from oven and stir; allow it to cool completely before bagging it up and watching it disappear. This recipe makes about 2 pounds of granola, and if it gets soft from the moisture in the air, laying it on a tray at 200F for 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to put the crunch back in to it.