We live in tight financial times, and families are searching for ways to save money. Food is often a costly item in one's budget. One way to slice costs is to make, from scratch, your favorite prepackaged foods. For example, try making granola, instead of buying it boxed or bagged.
Purchased granola can be pricey, and although granola touts itself as healthy, it is often laden with sugar and added preservatives that are difficult to pronounce. Prepackaged granola that's made with all natural ingredients is often costly. Making plain granola saves money, it is a healthier alternative, and, along with these benefits, you'll know exactly what you're eating.
Here's a recipe for plain granola that your family will enjoy:
Kitchen items needed for preparation:
- Two Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cup
- Cookie Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 T plus 1 t vegetable oil
- 1/4 C honey
- 1/4 C firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 C golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to keep ingredients from sticking to the cookie sheet pan.
- Toss the oats with cinnamon and salt in a big bowl.
- In the other bowl, combine oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Blend together with a whisk.
- Drizzle honey, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla mixture over the oats mixture, and using your hands, mix until the oats combination is covered with the honey mixture.
- Spread the mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. It's okay to leave a few clumps so that it resembles granola that you purchase at grocery or health food stores.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Use a spatula (preferably metal) to take granola from the pan. Once cooled, pour into a storage container, and mix in raisins. Sealed the container with its lid, and store in a cool dry place for up to two weeks.
Your homemade granola can be used in several ways -- it's not just for the traditional cereal and milk in the morning. Sprinkle on top of ice cream as a crunchy topping. For breakfast, in place of granola and milk, try granola and a combination of various fruit. Use granola in fruit crisp recipes to cut down on preparation time. Layer your favorite yogurt with granola for a healthy parfait. Grab a handful for an on-the-go snack.