Say Good Bye to Packaged Cereal

It has been too long since I last blogged about food. Anyone can tell just by looking at me that I love good food! So I thought today would be a good day to talk about how your choices in food can be good for your wallet, good for your health, and good for the environment. And if we are talking about good food and the environment in the same blog post we have to talk about granola.

First, lets make some granola. Then I’ll tell you why it is worth the time to make up a batch every week.

There are lots of recipes on the internet. Here is one that I have put together to get you started. You’ll soon be making your own variations! All measurements are approximate. Feel free to experiment, you really can’t go wrong.

In a medium size saucepan mix together.

  • 1/2 Cup Oil (I like to use strong flavored oils. Right now I’m using sesame oil because I got a gallon of it real cheap, but sometimes I will use coconut oil or a blend of the two)
  • 1/2 Cup Honey or Real Maple Syrup (More or less depending on how sweet you want your granola. You can also use white or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix well, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Allow to cool a bit then mix in:

  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla
  • other spices to taste, I like to add about a tablespoon of cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, maybe a dash of cloves

While that is cooking, in a large bowl, mix together:

  • 8 Cups Old Fashioned Oats (I buy organic oats in bulk at the co-op for about .30/lb)
  • 1 Cup Wheat Germ
  • 1 Cup unsweetened coconut flakes (you can find unsweetened coconut at co-ops and natural food stores)
  • 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 Cup Flax Seeds (or ground flax seeds)
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

Pour liquid into dry mixture and mix well until everything is damp but not wet. Add a little more water if needed.

Spread mixture evenly on shallow baking sheets. Do not fill the baking sheets because you will need room to stir.

Bake in a slow oven (about 250 degrees).

I’m sorry I can’t tell you how long. Sometimes I cook the granola for 30 minutes and sometimes it takes over an hour. You just have to watch it. Check your granola about every 15 minutes, stirring each time. It is done when the oats have a nice brown color and everything is very dry.

Allow the granola to cool thoroughly. Then mix in:

  • 1 Cup Raisins or other dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy. This makes enough cereal for my family of  granola lovers (2 adults and 1 growing teenager) for about a week.

Since I’ve been making granola I have pretty much quit buying packaged breakfast cereal.  It now seems to be a big waste of money.  Just yesterday I was looking at the cereal aisle and found that for the same price as a batch of healthy granola (around $4) I could get a brightly colored box with 12 oz. of  refined corn and high fructose corn syrup, with a few artificial colors and preservatives thrown in for good measure.  No Thanks!

I also don’t have all those brightly colored boxed waiting to go to the recycling center. Sure we can recycle the cardboard, but it is better for the environment if it is never produced in the first place.

My family loves the granola I make and love the money I save.  Plus, by making my own granola I can sneak in the flax seed and other healthy ingrediants my husband wouldn’t eat otherwise! Let me know how your granola creations go!