I had a package of slivered almonds languishing in my pantry and we were out of breakfast foods, so I whipped up a batch of Easy Vanilla Almond Granola yesterday. This is crispy, crunchy and chewy with a strong vanilla flavor. Don’t even think about making this with anything other than pure vanilla extract.
This recipe, which is inspired from this one at Epicurious, makes about 8 cups. This is such good granola that 24 hours later, there’s just a cup left, enough for two of us for breakfast tomorrow.
Three Reasons to Make Your Own Granola
1. Homemade Flavor
What I love about making this dish is the quality of the finished product. Homemade granola makes me feel like a gourmet cook when in reality, I just dumped a bunch of ingredients together and tossed it in the oven for a bit. You will impress family, friends and overnight guests. Perhaps even your dog.
2. Inexpensive Breakfast or Snack
We have a woman in our community who has a business making granola. She sells it nationwide and hers really is so good. But it’s also $8 for a small bag. We can kill that bag in less than 24 hours. I can’t justify spending $32 to $40 a month on granola alone. Can’t do it no matter how much we believe in buying local.
3. Control Ingredients and Thus Nutritional Content
If you have any dietary restrictions, making your own granola is a no-brainer. You can create exactly the number of proteins and fat grams and calories you need by making your own batch.
Bonus tip: Wear Shoes
A word of caution to my barefoot in the kitchen sisters and brothers. Either wear shoes while you’re making this or be very, very careful. I turned to laugh at something my husband said while I was cooking the hot oil and honey together on the stove. I whipped the spatula in the air while I was turning to laugh at him and blobs of hot liquid hit the top of my flip-flopped foot. Oh Mama Mia, Triple ouch. There’s nothing like a sugar burn, especially mixed with a dose of hot oil 🙂
Make sure you use whole oats-not instant.
Can I put a bug in your ear about the holidays? This would make a great family gift. While I tend to make cookies and candy for holiday gifts, I really appreciate gourmet gifts that result in a special breakfast without any effort on my part. Make a batch of this granola, pour it in a mason jar and affix a bow on top.
Do you make your own cereal? Do you have a recipe you’d share?
- vegetable oil spray
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons sugar or vanilla sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Spray a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with cooking oil spray
- Combine oats, almonds, brown sugar and salt in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Stir to combine
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Meanwhile, put vegetable oil, honey and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring then reduce heat to simmer until combined. (Be careful, this is hot sugar).
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour oil/honey/sugar/vanilla mixture over the oat mixture and stir quickly and well to combine.
- Pour or spoon evenly over prepared sheet or pan and put in oven for 30 to 37 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid burning.
- Remove from oven and let granola cool completely before packaging.