Monday, January 20, 2014

Homemade Granola in bulk

I hate boxed cereal. Hate it. And I don't use that word lightly. I hate all the additives. I hate the price. I hate that my kids are totally addicted to it.  I hate the convenience of buying it off the shelf. I hate that we go through a box in a couple days.

Sunday, I decided I would try something new.  I like making big batches muffins for breakfast options on school days. I like making big batches of pancakes that Gabe can microwave one or two in the mornings.  And now, I have made a big batch of granola for a cereal replacement.

I like that I already had all the ingredients at my house and that the quantities are all so big that the kids could help me pour and mix. We actually made it in a brown paper bag so the kids could shake it together. What I really love about granola is how customizable it is. The original recipe (from The Homemade Pantry by: Alana Chernila - best family style cookbook ever) called for sesame sticks (replaced with peanuts), flaked coconut (used raisins) and almond extract (omitted) but ours is still delicious!

Even if you only make a half batch, you will still have a good amount. So try it and see what you think!

Homemade Granola (makes 16 cups)

10 cups (2 pounds) old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup peanuts (or other tree nut)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups sliced or chopped raw almonds
1 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup canola oil (or whatever oil you want to use)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Combine the oats, peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins, salt and cinnamon in your largest bowl or we threw everything in a brown paper bag and shook everything until it was mixed.  In a separate bowl, mix together the liquid ingredients until they are a uniform consistency.  Pour the liquid over the dry mixture and stir together until evenly coated.

Line four cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Spread the granola evenly on each pan.  Put them in the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes.  After each 20 minutes, stir the granola around on each pan to ensure it doesn't burn, and reset the timer for another 20 minutes.  Do this once more before the granola is done.  You end up baking the granola for a total of 60 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before you put it in a bag or plastic container.  It is good in a ziploc or sealed container for 3 weeks and can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Mmmm good!

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