In our house, we eat a lot of granola. For example, we eat it with cereal, oatmeal, yogurt and straight from the container. It is one of those foods that you can alter and customize to whatever you have in the pantry to fit your cravings. In this blog, I am going to go over how you can make Homemade Granola and how to save your family a small fortune not needing to buy it from the store.
Published December 31, 2021
Updated March 28, 2022
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A few years ago, my mother-in-law Christina, gifted me with the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook. This cookbook legit has hundreds of recipes, is filled with tips and tricks, and steps on how to make the best meals at home. It is my go-to for our family’s favorite granola recipe. Check out the link below to get your copy, it is on sale and the prices are really great directly on their site.
*America’s Test Kitchen is not a sponsor of this post*
The best part of making Homemade Granola, is that you can alter the ingredients and then add whatever you’d like to make it sweet or salty or fruity. We typically have pecans in the pantry, and as they are the one, I am not allergic to, they are usually the only nut added to our granola. In the past we have added raisins or dried fruit to granola, but through process of elimination, trials and errors, we have found the bare-bones granola is the best for our needs. Having a simple granola that is good with anything is great because you can use it for so many ways.
This morning, Levi and Elliana are having Homemade Granola with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey on top. On average, we eat one big container of plain Greek yogurt a week. It is more expensive than plain yogurt, but with 0% fat and packed with protein. Also, with some of us sensitive to dairy, the high protein helps to counteract the lactose and actually sits well in our stomachs. If you have not tried Greek yogurt, try it as a substitute for sour cream.
Cost to make your own granola
Buying granola is not a bad thing, please do not get me wrong. However, if you need it right away or do not have the ingredients, it is for sure the way to go. In our house, we have six people, and we go through food ridiculously fast. A bag of granola from a store can cost a pretty penny too. For example, below are two different granolas, one from Festival Foods and the other from ALDI.
#1 Nature Valley Granola Protein- Oats & Honey $6.19
*Name-brand from Festival Foods (A local grocery store)
#2 Millville Protein Oats & Honey ALDI $3.05
Buying a bag of granola from ALDI is less than half the cost. They are both Oats & Honey flavored and 11-oz. Prices will additionally vary depending on your location and the store you shop at.
*Neither ALDI nor Nature Valley are sponsors of this post*
The price to make granola changes with what you decide to put in the recipe. This recipe calls for Old Fashioned Oats, maple syrup, vanilla, oil, salt, brown sugar and nuts. Here is a breakdown of the cost to make this recipe from our local ALDI.
5 cups Old Fashioned Oats $2.40
1/3 cup Maple syrup $0.16
1/2 cup Oil $0.24
4 tsp vanilla $0.18
1/2 tsp Salt $0.04
1/3 cup packed Brown sugar $0.16
2 cups Pecans $4.00
1 tsp Cinnamon $0.04
The total cost to make this recipe is $7.22.
Total, the weight of this recipe makes over two pounds of granola.
Per ounce, that makes this recipe $0.22 an ounce.
Store bought granola costs $0.27 an ounce at ALDI and $0.56 an ounce from the store-brand granola. Making your own granola, if you are buying name brand, saves you so much money! To buy the same amount that I made from a store-brand would cost $17.92.
I’d say that is saving a small fortune, especially if you go through a lot of granolas.
If you were to then buy a bag of granola twice a month, name brand, you will spend $160.00 a year. Making your own, with this recipe once a month costs $86.64. That is a total savings of $74.36.
The reason I like to do this cost comparison and breakdown is to show you how you too can see what you spend for meals, foods and recipes. It truly has helped me get a grasp on our food budget. Knowing we can spend less making food from scratch has helped me to really embrace my Scratch Kitchen ways and to additionally help someone to start a journey to making food from scratch.
Reasons for making granola
There are a few reasons I have chosen for making granola from scratch. The main reason would be how costly it can be. Making Homemade Granola can literally save you SO much money. The cost from buying to making is doubled, as long as you purchase your ingredients in bulk. Go for the bigger container of Old-Fashioned Oats and not a small container and then store them in an airtight container. They will last a long time and you can add them to cookies, bread, cook for breakfast, and more.
The second reason for embracing homemade granola is to not die, really. Being allergic to almonds, I literally cannot buy a granola that does not include “tree nuts” as a nutrition caution, and as a result every package I have looked at has tree nuts listed as in ingredient.
So, to stay healthy and safe, I have opted to make from scratch all of our granola, granola bars and snacks. Buying these things, with a nut allergy for example, is just not safe option anymore. If you are like me, and have a nut allergy, you can still enjoy delicious foods.
Finding recipes and then altering them to fit your needs helps to take control back for your health. Personally, I have noticed a HUGE difference since finding my almond allergy and removing it completely from my diet.
Homemade Granola Recipe
Ingredients for Homemade Granola
5 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 cup Maple syrup
1/2 cup Oil
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup packed Brown sugar
2 cups Pecans
1 tsp Cinnamon
Directions for Homemade Granola
1. Firstly, preheat your oven to 325 degrees with the oven rack in the upper-middle position.
This recipe is from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook and this recipe is on page 674.
2. Secondly, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then set aside.
Using parchment paper helps the granola to not stick and then burn to the baking sheet. It also helps to be removed way easier after it is cooked. Plus, cleanup is a breeze!
3. Thirdly, in a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, oil and cinnamon.
4. Measure and then add Old Fashioned Oats, mixing well with a spatula.
5. Fold in chopped pecans, or any other nuts or fruits you choose to add.
You can use dried fruit, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, coconut or a mixture of any of them you choose. I like to keep random bags of nuts and fruits in our pantry, so when we want to make a recipe, we will have fruits or nuts on-hand.
6. Then, transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly.
7. Use a flat-bottomed baking dish to flatten and compress the mixture, doing this helps to create bigger chunks of granola once it is finished baking, instead of just all crumbles. For example, I used a flat-bottomed small 4X4 inch baking dish to press the mixture flat.
8. Bake until lightly browned, 40-45 minutes, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking.
Do not over-bake this granola! It can easily burn, and no one likes burnt granola.
Check it at 40-minutes to see if it has started to brown and check it to see if it needs more time. One way to check for doneness is to try to break one corner by lifting the corner of the granola “sheet”, if it is crunchy and breaks easily your granola is done. If the corner sticks together and bends as one sheet, bake it for a few more minutes, while keeping an eye on it to prevent burning.
Having the granola crunchy helps to preserve its freshness and keeps it longer. If the granola is too moist, it may go bad quicker.
9. Finally, remove the baking sheet from oven and let rest to cool.
Cooling your granola to room temperature can take upwards to one hour. Let it cool completely before storing it, so all of the moisture and heat is removed.
Feel free to snack on your still-warm granola, as it is unbelievably delicious, and you will find it hard to resist.
10. Break granola into pieces and then store in an air-tight container.
These 1-Gallon containers from Rubbermaid work perfect at storing this entire recipe. I have had this set for years and LOVE them. They are perfectly tall to fit a lot of food, and great at keeping granola fresh for weeks.
Recipe for Homemade Granola
Homemade Granola – How to Save a Small Fortune
- Large Bowl
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Measuring Cup
- 5 cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar packed
- 4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Oil
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 cups Pecans chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the oven rack in the upper-middle position.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 4 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup oil and 1 tsp cinnamon.
- Measure and add the 5 cups Old Fashioned Oats, mixing well with a spatula.
- Fold in 2 cups chopped pecans, or any other nuts or fruits you choose to add.
- Transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly.
- Use a flat-bottomed baking dish to flatten and then compress the mixture.
- Bake until lightly browned, 40-45 minutes, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and let rest to cool completely.
- Break granola into pieces and then store in an air-tight container.
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