Granola is one of my favorite breakfast cereals, but it is EXPENSIVE for what you get! And I don't really care for most store bought ones. They are too sweet. Here is the recipe that I have used for the past 5 years. It is wonderful. I put out a request for a good recipe on a Coast Guard Wives forum and this was one that a friend shared with me. I haven't used another recipe since. It is so versatile. If you don't have one of the ingredients, just substitute it for something you do have. I didn't have wheat germ this time so I used an extra cup of oats. Sometimes I add flax seed and other types of nuts as well.
7 cups. uncooked oatmeal
1 c. wheat germ
1 c. coconut
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped almonds
1/2 c. chopped pecans
raisins and dates as desired
Mix thoroughly and bake in shallow pans at 275 until coconut is lightly browned (about an hour). Add dates and raisins as desired.
Be sure to save 2 cups to make homemade granola bars. Keep reading...
It is perfect dry as a snack (my kids like eating it out of small cups), with milk for breakfast, or with yogurt (my favorite is peach). It is also amazing in homemade granola bars!
My kids loved these bars. They were eating them up so fast that I had to reserve a few on the side to take pictures of before they were completely gone.
S'mores Granola Bars
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 c. granola or uncooked oats
2 c. rice cereal (rice chex broken up, or rice crispies)
1 c. golden grahams cereal (or crushed graham crackers)
1 c. mini/micro marshmallows
1 c. chocolate chips
Heat first 3 ingredients over med-high until they start to boil. Reduce to med-low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add in granola, marshmallows, and cereals and mix thoroughly. Pour into a 9x13 pan (lightly sprayed with cooking spray) and pat down until nice and level. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and press down with a spatula. Let refrigerate for 15 minutes. Cut into bars.
For basic granola bars, omit chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham cereal. You can add pretzels, nuts, fruits, etc. There are so many possibilities!
Just make sure that if your granola has a lot of sugar in it (like my recipe above does) that you don't use a lot of sugar in you honey mixture or your bars will be too hard. Less sugar keeps them chewy. The original recipe called for twice as much sugar and the first time I made them was a big fat fail. I had to soak the pan with warm water for a couple of hours to get them off. It wasn't pretty. Less sugar is better. Also, the recipe above is doubled. They are the perfect thickness that way. Again, the first time I made them, they were too thin. Now you can learn from my trial and error :)