Make natural granola – are you kidding me? They sell it in the store already made and ready to go! I know, I know – I hear you. For most of my adult life, I too have been purchasing pre-made granola in bags and bins like everyone else does. But recently, after finding out that A. I have issues with gluten and that B. certified gluten-free premade granola is way pricey, I had to come up with an affordable solution to store-bought granola.
Thankfully, after doing some research and running the numbers, I have come up with a homemade granola that is better than the stuff in the store and costs just a fraction of the price – and this goes for both “regular” granola and “gluten-free” granola. In fact, I would venture that if you can eat oats without any problem, a recipe like this could save you a small fortune when making your own granola. First, let’s go over the ingredients.
Ingredients Needed To Make Natural Granola
- Oats – I go for certified gluten-free, organic ones here, but regular old oats would save you a lot of money if you can eat them. Organic, however, would be better for you in the long run.
- Sliced Almonds
- Peanut Butter – I use the creamy kind, but the crunchy kind could be interesting as well.
- Butter – Natural butter, not margarine or butter substitute.
- Honey – Again, make sure you are using real honey, not just high-fructose corn syrup in a bear-shaped bottle.
- Vanilla – The good stuff goes a long way, so buy a nice bottle of vanilla extract and keep it in the kitchen for a long time to come.
That’s it – those are all the ingredients needed to make your own natural granola. You can, of course, add any ingredients you want – nuts, raisins, seeds, etc. If you want it in your granola, I say go for it! I personally love this recipe and eat it almost daily with some yogurt, so I am happy with everything that is in it.
Here is the price breakdown per item, along with how much granola can be made buying the ingredients this way.
- Oats – 123 ounces of gluten-free oats for $21.89.
- Sliced Almonds – 32 ounces for $15.28
- Peanut Butter – 16 ounces of peanut butter for $2.50
- Butter – 16 ounces of salted butter for $2.99
- Honey – 32 ounces of honey for $7.00
- Vanilla – Negligible, as you only use a fraction of the bottle each time. Good vanilla extract can usually be bought for $7 or so for 4 ounces. It’s hard to really consider the per-unit price, as there are 0.0005 tablespoons in an ounce.
If I add up the price of all these ingredients, excluding the vanilla, I get a grand total of $49.66. That may seem like a lot of money to spend on making your own granola, but trust me – it saves you a lot in the end. The recipe I list below, after doing the math, runs me about $6.32 per batch of 8 cups of granola, or $1.27 per cup. In comparison, a popular name in gluten-free granola sells their simple granola at around $7.00 for 2.75 cups, or $2.55 per cup. That’s twice as much as I am paying for granola that tastes better and is made of better ingredients. By making my own granola, I am cutting my expense in half without much effort – and I love a good 50% off sale.
Keep in mind that this recipe is for a certified gluten-free granola. If you can digest regular granola, your per unit price for oats will be a fraction of what I have to spend on the gluten-free version, which would cut your homemade granola price down even more. When this much savings is on the line, it’s hard not to take advantage of such an easy way to save some money.
The Granola Recipe
You’ve seen how much money it saves, and now it’s time to start cooking. Here’s the recipe for making your own granola. Turn the oven to 300 degrees to preheat, and you will need the following amounts of the ingredients listed above:
- 3 cups oats
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 stick of butter
Mix the oats and almonds together and set aside. In a pan on low heat, combine the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and butter until melted down and mixed together. Pour this into the mix of oats and almonds, mixing them all together until even. Get out a shallow baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Now, spread the granola mixture evenly onto the paper and in the pan. Place the pan into the oven at 300 degrees, and cook for between 20-30 minutes, depending on how you like your granola cooked. Mine is cooked for about 25 minutes. Once done, take the pan out of the oven, allow the granola to cool, break it apart, and then put it in a sealable container such as a large Mason jar. A single batch fills up my 8 cup Mason jar to the brim perfectly.
So there you have it – an easy, inexpensive recipe you can use to make natural granola. I do it because I like to save money and I happen to be gluten-intolerant, but you can do it just to save yourself money on your grocery bill. Besides, knowing what goes in to what I eat always makes me feel better anyway!
Image Credit: Granola, Almonds, And Raisins from BigStock