This might not be the very best granola, but it is the very easiest. In fact, in my house, I refer to it as dish-free granola. Here's the thing, I love the idea of purchasing little to no food that comes in bags or boxes. However, since I am a part-time office manager, part-time blogger, part-time urban farmer, and full-time mom, this is only possible if the bag and box replacements are exceedingly simple. I've already found my solution for bread, and now I'm giving boxed cereal a run for its money.
This granola is so basic and mess free, it truly is easier to make than to go to the store and buy. This recipe is both cheaper and healthier than a processed breakfast, making it a winner in my book. It gets bonus points for being vegan (no eggs required) and gluten free.
Want to make your own? I've provided the recipe below, but like many of my favorite recipes (see frittata), it is more of a loose framework than a strict recipe. In fact, I've only included measurements to give you a loose guideline, I never bother dirtying a measuring cup! The whole point is to use what you love, or what you've got, and serve up a healthy alternative to packaged breakfast without breaking a sweat (or the bank). Warning: you might want to double or triple this recipe; if your house is anything like mine, it won't last long!
Dish-Free Granola Recipe
- 4 cups Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or melted coconut oil or melted butter)
- 1/2 cup Real Maple Syrup (or honey or agave)
- Cinnamon (Optional)
- Additions: (any or all) 1/4 cup ground flax or wheat germ, 1 or more cups nuts (I love raw sliced almonds), 1/2 cup seeds, 1 or more cups dried fruit (usually raisins in my house)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. And line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour an even layer of oats on the cookie sheet (around 4 cups).
- Drizzle a generous amount of oil and syrup over the oats (about 1/2 cup of each).
- Using your hands, toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, flax/germ, and chopped raw nuts (if using) Note: I add sliced nuts, roasted seeds and dried fruit after baking.
- Give the granola another quick toss.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and toasty, stirring once mid-bake.
- While the granola is cooling, sprinkle with sliced nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (if using).
- Once cool, use your hands to incorporate your mix-ins. Then pick up the parchment and pour your granola into an air tight container.
- Pour over yogurt, serve with cold milk, or eat out of hand. Just try to save some for the rest of the week!
Here's to healthy snacks made simple.