Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homemade Granola

I struggle quite a bit with Tommy's eating habits. He doesn't share my angst. He would happily forgo the healthy meals I make (often at great personal aggravation) in favor of potato chips, cheese, pizza, and fast food. He gets fast food about once a month. He asks for it every day. So when I stumble across something that is healthy, that he'll actually eat, I am all over it.

I found out he likes granola when I bought a double package from Costco last month. But it's expensive! And, I'm trying not to buy packaged food so much. Fortunately, there are a ton of great homemade granola recipes out there. Here's the one I've been making, that ALL my boys are quite smitten with:

1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. honey
3 c. oatmeal (I use quaker rolled)
Walnuts and raisins (1/2 c. nut/ 1/4 c. raisin, but add these ~ or anything else! ~ to suit your taste)

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat (don't scorch). Add honey and stir. Add oatmeal and stir to coat. Turn out into ungreased casserole dish (9 x 13) and bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees fehrenheit for about 10 minutes. Stir, then cook 5 more minutes. Stir and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from oven, stir while still hot, to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When it cools, you can add whatever nuts/dried fruit you'd prefer. Like I said, we use walnuts and raisins.

It took me quite a bit of experimenting to figure out how to get it crunchy. I used to cook it at 375 for 10 minutes. Then it was 375 for 15 minutes. Then I read a different recipe that cooked at 400, so I tried that, and that's where we pretty much settled in. This is also about half the butter most recipes I've seen call for. I made it with 1/2 cup of butter once, and it was way to buttery for my taste.

In previous incarnations, it would cook but not get crunchy. Don't let this stop you from eating it! It's still very tasty, even when it's a bit softer than I think of for granola. Tommy LOVES it! It's much cheaper, since I get honey, butter, oats, walnuts AND raisins in bulk at Costco; and I know there are no preservatives and I don't use any salt when I'm cooking it (though you could, if you're sensitive to the taste, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to the recipe above). Those are serious bonuses, and it means that even if it cost a bit more to make it, I still would.

Erik and Tommy both love this granola. They ate two batches in three days once! And then, every time I think that Tommy is on the road to a healthier future, I catch him doing something CRAZY...like putting chocolate syrup on the homemade granola.

1 comment:

  1. How did you know I've been looking for a granola recipe? you are too good to me.