Standing in the cereal aisle of any major food store can be an overwhelming perplexing experience, especially for those of us who aim to choose healthy non-chemical laden food for our families. There are many ‘natural’ cereals to choose from, so we begin reading the labels. What do we find?
soy, canola oil, other unhealthy oils, non-pronounceable ingredients, lots of sugar, preservatives.
Finding healthy granola seems easy – until you start reading the labels. What is the answer? Is there a brand I can trust? If you finally find a mostly natural granola with a short list of mostly acceptable ingredients, when you look at the price, and work out how many servings it will give your family, you find another long pause as you consider the economics and your budget. Such is the stress of grocery shopping with health and economy in mind.
Making your own ‘fast foods’ for breakfast can be extremely easy, very satisfying, and by far your healthiest option. If you have children, you are BUSY, but one of your best time-saving resources will one day be your children! Teach your children to make this recipe for the whole family.
I’ve written the following recipe in three versions: small, medium and large to make it easy to double or triple the recipe depending on your need.
Some notes about the ingredients:
- In order to ensure that we are not consuming large amounts of glyphosate (from Roundup) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND choosing organic options for all ingredients. Buying organic also sends a message to retailers, suppliers, growers, etc. that we want healthy food without harmful chemicals. Eventually, if enough people vote with their wallets, price reductions and increased availability will follow.
- Local, raw honey is the healthiest sweetener, but if you have a large family and a small budget, you may opt to choose organic sugar. Honey is generally considered to be sweeter, so you may need slightly more sugar to reach your desired sweetness.
- The addition of water (of course non-fluoridated, pure water is the ONLY option you would ingest, how to find it is the topic of another blog) to the liquid ingredients stretches the recipe to make it go further, but you can reduce the amount of water and increase the healthy oils and sweetener for a more indulgent granola.
|GRANOLA from the Hastings Family Kitchen|
|½ – ¾ cup||1 – 1 ½ cup||1 ½ – 2 ¼ cup||Honey (or slightly more organic brown sugar)|
|2/3 cup||1 1/3 cup||2 cups||Coconut oil, butter or a combination|
|2/3 cup||1 1/3 cup||2 cups||Water|
|1 Tablespoon||1 ½ T||2 T||Molasses|
|½ teaspoon||1 tsp||1 ½ tsp||Vanilla|
|Combine these ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves fully. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla.|
|In a huge bowl combine:|
|1 box (500 g)||2 boxes (1 kg)||3 boxes (1.5 kg)||Oats|
|1 tsp||1 ½ tsp||2 tsp||Cinnamon|
|Pinch||Pinch +||Pinch ++||Salt|
|½ cup||1 cup||1 ½ cup||Unsweetened Coconut such as Bob’s Red Mill|
Seeds: hemp hearts, sunflower, pumpkin, and/or sesame. You can also add dried fruit like raisins, and/or any nuts you like. You can add them either before or after cooking, but raisins are usually nicer to add after. I don’t add any raisins or nuts because of different individual preferences (ie some family members complain!). Add nuts and raisins to individual servings, as desired.
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients well. Pour the liquid mixture over and stir thoroughly. Distribute into deep baking trays – 1, 2 or 3 depending on the recipe size you have used. Bake at 350 F for 20 – 30 minutes, but stir thoroughly every 10 minutes and check for even browning. After approximately 30 minutes, stir and turn the oven off, but leave the pans in the oven to cool and for the granola to dry (as long as it looks like it is not burning).
Once the granola is cool and thoroughly dry, break apart and store in airtight containers. If you make more than you can use in a couple of weeks, store part of it in the freezer.
Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate seeker of Jesus, truth and health. Most of my writing is aimed at helping young families find health and joy through making wise choices. Sometimes I share recipes!