“Sometimes buying from the store can cost you much more than you’d expect.”
More often than not, packaged food at the store is priced too high for what you get. Why settle for a half-filled box of factory-made granola when you can just as easily make a huge batch of it in your own kitchen? Not only will it keep a few bucks in your wallet, but it’s also a huge plus just by knowing exactly what you put into your food.
There’s no time for mystery ingredients, people!
Don’t be fooled by sneaky advertising with words claiming a product to be “All Natural,” “Organic,” “Heart Healthy,” or even “Low Calorie.”
Here’s my rule of thumb:
Look at the ingredients before you check out the nutritional content.
- If there are more than 5 ingredients listed, ditch it
- If you cannot pronounce or recognize any of the listed ingredients, say no
- If the expiration date is more than 2 weeks from the date of purchase, sayonara…sucker!
Most store-bought granola won’t pass this test, so it’s time for some fun in the kitchen. Feel free to use whatever dried fruit or nuts your desire. Get creative!
Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of slivered almonds
1 cup of cashews
3/4 cup of shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (sugar-free is preferable)
1/8 cup of vegetable or canola oil
3/4 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of raisins
2/3 cup of dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, oil, and salt.
Combine both mixtures and pour onto two lined sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring ever 15-20 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from the oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add the raisins and cranberries (or any other dried fruit) until evenly distributed.
This is the perfect snack when you need a little something sweet or an extra boost of energy. I love eating it for breakfast with yogurt, and I always try to keep a little bag in my purse to get me through those busy days.