Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Homemade Frugal Delicious Stovetop Granola

My family loves granola. But granola is *expensive*. And it usually has some pretty weird ingredients. So I decided to learn to make my own. I found several recipes (this being the best one in my opinion), but as is par for the course here, I tend to combine them and make my own recipe out of it.

This recipe is, bar none, the best granola we've ever had. It makes a HUGE amount. But can be easily divided.

To make it more frugal, use what you have on hand or what is inexpensive or in season.

Printable recipe follows picture tutorial.

Heat 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil up in a HUGE pan.

When the oil is hot (medium high) add 8 cups of oats and a bag of coconut. Here I added a little bag because my sweet husband picked it up for me on the way home and paid a FORTUNE for it. If I'd had a cheaper bag, I would have added more.

Brown the oats and coconut in the skillet stirring constantly. It takes several minutes to get them good and toasty looking. Then pour this into a bow.

Heat a little more oil and add 1 cup of sliced almonds. Stir until they are toasted. You can also do this in the oven or even skip this step. But toasted almonds have a lot more flavor than untoasted almonds. When toasted put them aside.

In the same skillet melt 1 and 1/3 cups of butter.

Add 8 Tablespoons of honey.

And 1 1/3 cups of packed brown sugar. Stir constantly until it comes to a good bubble.

Then add back in your toasted oats and coconuts (not your almonds yet).

Now brown this mixture for several minutes. It gets all caramely and toasty. You'll know when it's done.

Have some parchment or waxed paper ready.

Dump the hot toasty mixture on the parchment or wax paper. Pack it together so that you have chunks instead of crumbles. With the toasted almonds spread on top and packed down.

I like to add another kind of nut just to keep it interesting. Here is about 1/2 cup chopped pecans. All the recipes say to wait until it's totally cool and bagged to add the nuts and fruit, I have no idea why. I add them right after I pack it down on the parchment paper.

Here I am packing the pecans into the granola mixture.

Add some dried fruit. Here is close to a cup of dried cranberries. And I don't show it (forgot to get the picture) but I also added half a cup or so of dried dates just cause I had them left from Christmas baking.

Pack the dried fruit down on the (still warm) granola mixture.

Once it's set for a while, start to break it up. If you wait until it's completely cool it may be harder to crumble. See the corner that's missing? That's where the family can't keep their little grubby fingers out of it. Yeah, it's that good.

Even after the family had eaten and eaten, we still had a huge gallon bag left that weighed right at 3 lbs.

Be sure not to put it in the bag until it's totally cool or condensation will occur and it will ruin the granola. This keeps for a long time on the shelf. I've not found out how long because the family gobbles it down within a few days at most.

Homemade Frugal Delicious Stovetop Granola

4 T Olive Oil

8 Cups Oats

A bag of coconut

1 1/3 Cup butter

8 T Honey

1 1/3 Cup packed brown sugar

Up to 2 cups Nuts (if desired) (toasted if desired)

Up to 1 1/3 cup dried fruit of your choice

Heat the oil in the biggest pot you've got over medium high. Add oats and coconut. Stirring constantly until browned. This will take several minutes. Set aside in a bowl.

Heat a bit more oil and toast any nuts you want to toast. Set them aside separately.

Melt butter. Add honey and then brown sugar. Stir constantly until you've got a good bubble.

Add toasted oats and coconut back to butter/sugar mixture and toast several minutes until the mixture gets all toasty and caramely.

Pour mixture on parchment or waxed paper. Pack down. Add nuts, pack down. Add dried fruits, pack down. Once it begins to harden, break up into big chunks.

When totally cool put into a huge zipper bag (or two).


For more "Works For Me Wednesday" Tips, be sure to visit http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/!


Tina in Thailand said...

Mmmmm. I am going to try this out. The recipe I have right now has me bake the oatmeal mixture after mixing it in with the butter and sugar. I am all for anything that helps me keep my oven off during hot season!
Do you think I could skip the bag of dried coconut? Strange as it sounds, I cannot get that kind of coconut here. Only fresh stuff and I think it would add a bit too much water as it cooked. I guess I can look around the market and see what I can get.
Thanks for the tip!

My name is Michelle. said...

Tina, I've made granola in the oven as well and for some reason I *really* dislike opening and stirring it. This recipe is much easier to me and it only takes one big pot or skillet. And you absolutely CAN make it without coconut. I have and it's almost equally as delicious. :)

Playful Professional said...

This looks delicious. I made homemade granola for the first time this week and loved it. This looks really easy. Thanks!

Laane said...

I[ve never made it, but now I'll try.
Thank you!!

You can find my tip at:

Laane on the World

Have a great week and an amazing spring!!!

We are THAT family said...

What a great recipe. And pictures. I need pictures.

Beautiful Stranger said...

mmmmm that looks delicious! I'm definitely going to have to try it!!

Our Love Story said...

Looks delish and seems easy - thanks!

Carrie J said...

You post the best tutorials. I love the pictures you put up. The granola looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious! I'm definitely going to try it next time I go to the store. I have been looking for a good granola recipe, especially with summer coming and hungry kiddos!

A Stone Gatherer said...

That granola looks sooooo good! I just may have to try it!

katgif said...

That looks yummy. This may sound weird but how exactly do you eat it or what do you eat it with or on or...what? Help...! Thanks!!!