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July 30, 2016. My granola is my daily reminder that Better is Cheaper when you want it that Way. It’s delicious and nutritious. I make it with organic ingredients. Takes 10 minutes of effort to make a 10-day supply. And it’s Cheaper than Cheerios.

Seriously. 24 cents per ounce for mine. 43 cents per ounce for that General Mills industrial agriculture product that sits around in a cardboard box for months before it lands in your bowl.

Granola’s been my breakfast of choice for 40 years. Five or six years ago, it finally occurred to me I could make my own. I’ve been tinkering with the recipe. Now it’s the best granola I’ve ever tasted. It’s not just Better. It’s Cheaper. And what’s mine is yours:

Ingredients
For 10 3-ounce servings or 15 2-ounce servings:
4 cups of organic rolled oats
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1/2-teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
1/2-teaspoon of cardamom, ground
1/4-cup of raw pecans
1/4-cup of organic raw walnuts
1/4-cup of organc unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2-cup of organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2-cup of organic maple syrup
1 tablespoon of organic blackstrap molasses

Olive Oil-Maple Syrup Granola
Stir the oats, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl. 30 seconds for a thorough job. Then stir in the olive oil, maple syrup and molasses. A minute or two to achieve even, thorough coating. Now stir in the nuts and coconut flakes. 30 seconds. About three minutes total stirring time. You can do it in your bare feet, Birkenstocks or Earth Shoes.

Spread it all out on a baking sheet. I use a standard 18″ x 13″ sheet for the quantities in this recipe. Put it in a preheated 300 F oven for about an hour. Every 15 or 20 minutes, take it out of the oven and give it a quick stir, then spread it back out on the baking sheet. To avoid making a very large granola bar stuck to a baking pan.

I use a no-stick Silpat baking mat to reduce the number of return trips to the oven to just one. At the 30-minute mark. Reduces clean-up time, too, because absolutely nothing sticks to the pan.

About the cooking time: I bake mine for 70 minutes to get a darker, toastier aroma and flavor than you might like. When you’re making yours, taste it every now and then. Take it out of the oven when it’s just right for you.

When it’s done, transfer it to a large bowl and give it a good stir to prevent clumping. Unless you like clumps. Let it cool and crisp for 30 minutes before sealing it in a big jar or whatever you use for storage. When it’s cool, stir in dried fruit like raisins or cranberries if you like that sort of thing.

Serving
I take mine straight with milk. And fresh fruit. Plain yogurt‘s good, too. If you’re into granola snacking, it’s great dry. And terrific as the topping for Easier-Than-Peach-Pie.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
Add milk and it’s less than $1 for a great breakfast. Toasty, crunchy, nutty, barely sweet and exotically aromatic.

Cost Comparison
The ingredients for my granola cost 24 cents per ounce. At the farmers market, really good pre-packaged organic granola costs 50 cents per ounce. In my neighborhood, Kellogg’s Lowfat Granola will run you 37 cents per ounce. Cheerios: 43 cents per ounce.

Let’s Do The Math
A 2-ounce serving of my granola plus a half cup of whole milk and a banana turns out to be almost exactly equal to my 30-minute morning run on the treadmill. Rather walk? 1 hour plus 10 minutes to knock off all 400 calories. Only have 30 minutes? It’s OK. Four hours at your computer burns the other 200 calories.

All calories are not created equal
If you exercise after breakfast to manage your weight, what you eat for breakfast may help or hinder the fat-burning benefit you want.

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that exercise after a high-fiber, low glycemic index breakfast (meusli, yogurt, fruit) burned twice as much fat per hour as exercise following a high glycemic breakfast.” A really high glycemic breakfast: anything with a load of refined flour and/or sugar.

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