I really struggle with breakfast foods for my kids. They LOVE cold cereal, but I don’t really relish the idea of them eating the store-bought varieties every day. I don’t think it lasts long enough in their bellies, and then there’s all of the sugar. So, in an effort to compromise, I started making homemade granola. I make a giant batch of my simple granola recipe so it lasts awhile with the many mouths we have to feed. My boys like to munch on the bigger chunks of homemade granola as snacks, or eat it like cereal with milk. My daughter and I prefer it with fruit and a heaping scoop of greek yogurt — or even better homemade yogurt (recipe coming).
There are many homemade granola recipes out there, but let me summarize the key points so you’ll be well on your way to becoming a granola expert! The key for me is to have no added sugar or other less-than-desirable ingredients (that’s pretty much why we’re homemaking it anyway, right?!).
Granola is easy to customize — sometimes I use wheat germ and sometimes flax seed, depending on what I have on hand. We always get a big bucket of pecans from my in-laws so this simple granola recipe is a perfect way to use them, but you could use any nuts you like or omit them altogether. The measurements in the recipe can be modified as you wish, as long as you keep the total ratio of wet to dry ingredients roughly the same. Depending on what your family likes, stir in raisins or dates after the homemade granola has finished cooking.
Simple Granola Recipe
10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups wheat germ/flax seed
2 cups coconut
1-1/2 – 2 cups chopped pecans
4 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cups water
2 cups honey
1 cups (or less) coconut oil (extra virgin gives a delicious coconut flavor!)
TO MAKE: Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Next, stir wet ingredients in a separate bowl until well combined, and then add to dry ingredients. Make sure all of the granola is evenly mixed (little bits of dry pieces seem to sift to the bottom). Spread and distribute between two cookie sheets. Bake at 250 degrees until deep golden and almost dry, approximately 2 hours. Carefully stir every 15 minutes or so. You can either leave it slightly chunky (which we like to do), or break it up into a more uniform granola. We keep ours tightly covered in the refrigerator.