Granola Fun with Kids

Being a native Californian living outside the state, I’ve had to endure teasing from friends for being a “tree hugger”, “valley girl”, “granola-eater”, etc. over the years.  I don’t mind – I’m all of the above and proud of it. 🙂   And truth be told, there is a special place in my heart for granola.  I used to eat bowlfuls of the stuff in one sitting.  Granola is considered a “health food” by some, and true – it is better than snacking on a processed candy bar, but it’s pretty calorie dense.  These days, I eat it a little more judiciously, sprinkling it on yogurt, ice cream, and oatmeal for an added crunch and extra layer of flavor.

I started baking my own granola years ago when I was pregnant because I wanted a healthier version than I could find in stores.  The great thing about homemade granola is that you can customize it to suit your tastes.  Similar to nut butters, it is easy to make, costs less, and is a very kid-friendly snack to make with kids.


I get my son involved at the very beginning of the process by letting him help choose what kinds of dried fruits and nuts to put in our creation.  He likes to help spoon them into bags at the store.

The basic recipe is this:

A.  Base ingredients:

Oats , raw nuts, seeds, sometimes I add dried coconut here – you can also add different spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc.

B.  Fats:

Oil, butter (you could probably omit this if you have enough of the sticky stuff to hold the base ingredients together, but I haven’t tried it yet)

C: Sweeteners:

Honey, Maple Syrup, Rice Syrup, Molasses, Agave Syrup, Brown Sugar, mashed banana, applesauce

D.  Add Ins:

Other roasted nuts and seeds, Dried fruit, chocolate chips, anything you can think of!

Directions:

  1. Mix Base Ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Mix Fats and Sweeteners together in another bowl until emulsified.  Pour over Base Ingredients and mix until coated.
  3. Bake in oven.
  4. Let cool.  Eat.

There are so many recipes out there to try, and the ratios of A, B, C, and D vary greatly.  I suggest playing around with it to find what you like best.  This is the recipe my son and I came up with.  The ratios and ingredients are based on this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa, but I lowered the temperature, reduced the oil, added maple syrup and brown sugar and cinnamon and changed the ratios of the add-ins.

Granola

3 cups oats

1 cup chopped raw almonds

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup dried coconut

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup canola oil

½ chopped dried figs

¾ cup dried cranberries

½ cup chopped dried apricots

½ cup roasted, salted cashews

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3.  Whisk honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and canola oil together in a small bowl until emulsified.

4.  Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and mix until all the dry ingredients are coated.

5.  Spread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes.  Stir granola and continue baking for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until granola is golden.

6.  Remove sheet from oven and allow granola to cool, stirring occasionally.  When cooled, mix with remaining dried fruits and cashews.

Makes just under 2 lbs. of granola





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8 Comments

Filed under Condiments, Sides

8 responses to “Granola Fun with Kids

  1. Love your idea of adding dried figs. I think everyone is feeling like granola this week as many bloggers are sharing their recipes like this one http://www.foodinjars.com/2010/04/30/homemade-granola-for-a-bake-sale/

    Who doesn’t love the Barefoot Contessa’s recipes? The picture of your son scooping into the bag is sweet & I’m going to get my kids involved next time we shop for the ingredients too. Try this Barefoot recipe with your granola http://muminbloom.blogspot.com/2010/04/recipe-banana-crunch-muffins.html

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks for the link — I love that granola recipe (and I have a special place in my heart for Santa Cruz, as I lived there for several years!) — I’ve never tried to make it without oil, so this would be a good one to try.
      Yes, I love, love those muffins — haven’t made them in a long time so we are due!

  2. Your granola looks so delicious! I’ve been thinking about making granola since the New Year. LOL. Now it’s spring and I STILL haven’t gotten around to it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love granola, although I still haven’t made any of my own. I keep meaning to. Thank for the inspiration. I love to sprinkle granola over my yogurt for breakfast or a healthy snack.

  4. ela

    i didn’t know it easy to make granola. and i can even customize t to my taste! thanks for sharing the recipe

  5. Jos

    Hi there, just stumbled upon your blog! I always want to make my own granola bars and yours look pretty simple to do 🙂

  6. Pingback: Homemade Granola – Happy Memorial Day! « Bebe Love Okazu

  7. Homemade granola is one of those things I’ve always meant to make but haven’t. Glad to be reminded … yours looks yummy, particularly with the cashews.

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