Granola is the one thing that even Wizard doesn't hesitate from splurging on regularly. If I can find it for cheap, his eyes light up and he chalks the store down as the preferred granola source for a long time.
I got some great/cheap/tasty/crunchy granola from the Honest Weight Food Coop here in Albany but something got me thinking, and I picked up rolled oats, organic raisings, dried cranberries too. One month later, I gather all required ingredients including real maple syrup and hunker down to look up recipes.
By the time I find one that I like, we've drained the maple syrup on the Fluffiest Pancakes on the Planet. Shucks!
Plan B, honey. Now, honey is not cheap! Especially the one Wizard has in his browser Favorites and that he orders every few months. More on that later when our next order comes in.
I had to improvise and keep costs down, so instead of the fancier $10 variety, I picked up a Hannoford store brand blue berry honey...which isn't bad, not bad at all.
I mashed up a few recipes to include all the ingredients that I did have, and exclude the ones that I didn't. This was the base recipe:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar*
Smattering of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp+2 tsp canola oil
Two drops of vanilla (I hate the artificial vanilla I have at hand)
Mix all dry ingredients together, I added chopped cashews and hazelnuts, maybe a fistful.
Mix all wet ingredients well and pour over the oats, nuts combo. Stir together well and spread out on an ungreased baking sheet. I took bunches of oats and squeezed them into balls to make them stick to each other. Then stuck in a preheated over at 345 degrees for 10 minutes.
Facebooked for 10 minutes, thought about Nutella and how I must. not. buy. another jar.
Came back, stirred the now nicely toasting oats and added a handful of raisins and cranberries. Stuck back in the over for another 5 minutes.
I love looking at my jarful of homemade granola =) All it needs is a little yogurt topping, maybe a a tablespoon of strawberry preserve and it makes the crunchiest parfait I've ever had.
Of course, I eat it most regularly to make my midnight cereal snack crunchier =)