A few months back I received a text from my friend, a mom of 3 little tikes who lives in Portland, with this picture, saying:

Fresh granola on my kitchen counter makes me happy.

We often send text messages to each other with pictures of food we are eating, cooking, sharing with others. It’s a way we stay in touch. I loved her granola pic, too, because deep in our hearts, we both love to make as much homemade foods as possible for our kids (3 under the age of 6; 3 over the age of 15).

Steph also inspired me to start making my own granola, and once I got into the routine, it not only provided a great snack (and breakfast) for the family, but it saved us a bunch of money!

Store-bought granola is way overpriced.

And often too sweet, according to my tastes. So you’re going to love this recipe today. Which, by the way, you can play around with the recipe and add in your favorite nuts or fruits, double up on the liquid if you need to.

My recipe is a generic recipe, but one thing that I learned was to not use Quick Oats, but to instead use the Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats. I hand-chopped my almonds and walnuts, because we like the larger chunks, and the first time I used cranberries and golden raisins. I basically mixed it all together in a big bowl, decided I needed more liquid, and doubled that.

I ended up cooking the granola at 250 for over an hour. You can cook it (stirring every 20 minutes) to whatever texture you like for your own household.

Another thought about granola: If you’re going through all the work of making it, make enough to keep your family satisfied! A small recipe only begs the question of:

Mom, when are you making more granola?

And guess who loves it the most in our family? Yup! Mom bags it up in Ziploc gallon bags for our college student.

It’s a simple little care package full of homemade love! :)

What’s homemade on your kitchen counter that makes your family happy?

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Recipe: Fruit, Coconut and Nut Granola {ReluctantEntertainer.com}

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 7 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 3 cups whole almonds, chopped
  • 3 cups whole walnuts, chopped
  • 2-3 cups dried fruit, such as cranberries, golden raisins, or cherries

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 rimmed backing sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, except the dried fruit (will add in later).
  3. Whisk the first 5 ingredients together. Pour over the dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheets, baking on 2 oven levels, stirring every 15-20 minutes. After 40 minutes, swap pans on the oven racks.
  5. Bake for 60-80 minutes until granola is the consistency that you like.
  6. Remove granola from the oven and cool on cooling racks for an hour before stirring in the dried fruit.
  7. Using an airtight container, you can store on your kitchen counter for up to 2 weeks (if it lasts that long).

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

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