We love oats. I’m pretty sure that we could eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday for the rest of forever and no one would complain. As much as we like oatmeal, we may possibly love granola just as much. The kind you buy in the store is not only pricey, but is usually laden with sugar. Our homemade granola is both inexpensive and has much less sugar added. This recipe is so simple that you will be surprised you haven’t made it before. The basic recipe only has 5 Ingredients!! And it makes a TON so you can make it once and then eat it up for a couple of weeks. Or give some to a friend or neighbor and they will love you forever. (I usually double the recipe and give some away and eat it myself for a couple of weeks)
First begin with your rolled oats. Don’t use the quick cooking kind – they aren’t hearty enough for this recipe. Just good old fashioned rolled oats. Get out a very large bowl for this. Then you will add some oil, honey and vanilla and a bit of brown sugar. You can add more or less honey depending on how sweet you like it. I like it a little less sweet, especially if I am eating it with milk for breakfast.
Mix everything into your extra large bowl (if you are doubling) and just large bowl if not. It will feel like it is still kind of dry, but keep stirring for a while to get everything coated nice and good.
Take your mixture and spread it onto a baking sheet. If it isn’t the non-stick kind, spray it with cooking spray before. If you double the recipe you will need 2 baking sheets.
Then pop it into a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. You need to watch it carefully and stir every 5 minutes to make sure it bakes evenly. If you don’t stir it then the top layer will get really done, and the bottom layer won’t get baked at all. I set a timer for 5 minutes to make sure I remember to stir.
While it is baking, you can get your other mix-ins ready. I am kind of a granola purist and so I don’t like a lot of ‘stuff’ in my granola. Here are some ideas that would be yummy though if you like the extras. Nuts (we already talked about those), dried fruit, coconut, sesame seeds. You will add these in after it is baked, or in the last 5 minutes – except the nuts. I bake mine with the granola because they get all toasty and crunchy. Yum.
Once it is done it should look golden brown. I love wide cut coconut in my granola. Let it cool a bit and then stir it to break up any big pieces.
I store mine in mason jars (I have the big 1/2 gallon size, but any size would work) Tie a bow on it and it makes a perfect neighbor gift!
Definitely keep some for yourself though. It is delicious with just milk, or add it on top of some thick and creamy Greek yogurt with blueberries or strawberries. It is also great to add to trail mix.