My favorite breakfast is berries, granola, slivered almonds, a spoonful of greek yogurt, and a little honey. But the quality of this breakfast varies a lot based on the quality of the granola I use. I’ve been trying all of the bulk food granolas at Whole Foods and at Harvest Co-Op here in Cambridge, but nothing has been quite right. The best I’ve ever had is Nutty Steph’s, which is made up in Vermont near Sugarbush but doesn’t seem to make it down to Boston.
But I shouldn’t be buying granola in the first place. It’s exactly the kind of food that makes sense to make from scratch. Have you ever read the ingredients on a bag of commercial granola? How Bear Naked gets away with charging as much as $6 for rolled oats and sweetener is beyond me. Granola, like oatmeal, has been “roundly abused” by food manufacturers, though perhaps not to the same extremes.
Yes, you can buy granola with more than just oats and sweetener in it. But I would like to have some say over what exactly those extra things are. And if I can pick the precise combination I want, why don’t I just make it myself? It’s easier for me to create the perfect combination than to try to hunt it out in stores. Therein lies beauty of making your own granola: You can make it contain exactly what you want it to.
And on top of all that homemade granola tastes much fresher — even fresher than granola made locally. You can really taste the difference.
For the granola that I made, here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 handfuls flax seeds
- 1 cup shredded dried coconut
- 1/2 cup pepitos
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cup chopped dried fruits (I use figs)
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 3/4 cup honey or 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
And here’s what you’ll do:
- Preheat oven to 300
- Combine all of the dry ingredients
- Heat agave nectar or honey and coconut oil in a saucepan, stirring until fully combined
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until dry ingredients are coated
- Pour all ingredients into lipped baking sheets
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
- Allow to cool before eating