Homemade Granola, for Lazy…er, Efficient People Like Me

  We love cereal at our house.  The only problem is, we also really like variety.  We never seem to be able to get through a whole box before we’re looking for a new flavor.  That leads to a whole lot of half eaten, stale boxes of cereal.  It’s a waste of cupboard space, a waste of money and it drives me a little crazy.  Luckily, I’ve found a way to make our own.

I’m eating this while I write this post!
  Homemade granola that you don’t even have to heat up your oven for.  I get this made while G naps, and still have plenty of time left for other tasks.  Plus, the recipe is incredibly easy to modify, so I have essentially endless variety.  Score!
  I started with this recipe from All Recipes.  I usually follow the first step without too many modifications.  If I want to add some different flavor to the oats themselves I just add it in where it says to put in the cinnamon.  (I’ve done curry powder and for the current batch, cocoa powder and clove in addition to the cinnamon)  I personally find that adding all the sweeteners suggested in the recipe is too sweet for our family, so I cut the brown sugar in half.  I’m thinking about doing even less in the future.
  Once all the sticky, gooey liquids are mixed in, I more or less throw the recipe out the window.  This is where it gets fun!  Raid the pantry to see what nuts, fruits and other mix ins you’ve got (or hit your store’s baking aisle).  Chop them up and toss them in.  Get creative, let it all cool down and then enjoy!  
  Little ones love this too, and it’s a great way to sneak fruit into their diet.
  Ideas to try:
  Oat Flavorings: Cinnamon, ground clove, cocoa powder, curry powder
  Sweeteners: Honey, brown sugar, molasses, I think maybe next batch I’ll try omitting the molasses and adding some fruit jelly or peanut butter..what do you think?
  Mix-ins:  Chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews…ect.  Sunflower seeds.  Any dried fruit…I’ve done apricots, dried cherries, dried currents, dried cranberries, dried blueberries and banana chips so far.  Coconut goes in EVERY SINGLE batch I make.  But I’m a coconut addict.  The cocoa powder batch had some chocolate chips melted in.  What else can you think of?
  If you make this, I’d love to hear how it turns out, especially if you come up with a new combination!

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