Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Granola for Breakfast or Granola Bars

 photo null_zpsb80f89aa.jpgFor breakfast or a snack, Granola always provides a quick, healthy meal or snack. My sister shared her recipe for breakfast granola mix way back in the 1970s when Granola first became popular - long before there were so many varieties and brands, and before such things as packaged Granola Bars existed.

We were raising young families then and always looking for ways to stretch food budgets, yet provide a healthier alternative to sugary boxed cereals for kids.  Back then bulk food bins at grocery stores were introduced in our town and became popular.  

We used to call that time our "Little Houses on the Prairie Days." Homemade is less expensive, has no chemicals etc., and takes little time for a healthy quantity.

I'm including her recipe for breakfast Granola and also a granola bar recipe I and my husband likes.

By making a large quantity, it can be preserved by vacuum sealing or freezing. Feel free to change up either recipe by adding or leaving out ingredients to taste. Can use craisins instead of regular raisins,  or add coconut, chocolate chips, alternative dried fruits.

Breakfast Granola
5 cups rolled oats, not instant
1 cup wheat flakes
1 cup what germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups chopped dates
1 1/2 cups raisins
1/2 to one cup of honey
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Mix honey and oil.  In a large container mix remaining ingredients, then slowly pour honey and oil mixture stirring to coat mixture.

Spread evenly on a cookie sheet or bottom of a large baking pan.  Bake at 225 oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until light brown.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Store in jars or plastic bags. Makes about 15 cups.

Estimate cost: $6.00 or less; .40 cents a serving or less

Granola Bars
Granola Bars photo null_zps10628712.jpg3 cups old-fashioned oats, not instant
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup dried  raisins
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup of wheat germ, optional
1, 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
Honey, optional for drizzling at end of baking.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 inch pan or dish ( 9x11 works, too) with lightly sprayed parchment paper. Paper should extend up sides of dish or pan.

Granola Bars photo null_zps3bc68942.jpgFirst, mix oats and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, adding sweetened condensed milk last. Mix together in a bowl until all ingredients are combined.

Spread mixture out and up to edges of prepared pan, pressing evenly and flat into corners. Mixture is sticky, so grease hands as you spread the mixture. or use the back of a pancake turn to spread and flatten, pressing down.

Bake until edges appear golden brown, 20-25 minutes. If wanting chewier bars using less time and slightly more time for more crunchy bars.

Allow to cool at least 5 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper to lift them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars of desired size.

I cut mine into 24, 4-inch by 1-inch bars. Drizzle with honey if desired.  Let bars cool completely, then store in an airtight container or freeze. Makes 24 bars.

Estimated cost: $6.00 or less; .25 cents a bar or less.