Homemade Vanilla Granola

Healthy Kitchen Healthy Budget Granola1

Waffles, pancakes and eggs for breakfast are standard fare around here, but plenty of times I rely on cereal if I don’t have anything prepared ahead of time. Cascadian Farms granola is by far the favorite around here, but every time I buy a box I cringe because we only get a few breakfasts out of one. Plus, they have a ton of sugar. I took a break from buying granola cereal for those reasons, but one week Cascadian Farms was on sale so I bought a few boxes. I started thinking about how I could make my own cereal that would be healthy and cost effective.

I may have sworn off of making granola bars in favor of no-cook, no-fail granola cookie bites, but granola cereal still intrigues me. I have a good friend who sent me her no-fail granola recipe over a year ago. Unfortunately I lost that email and I found myself with some time to try a new recipe one Saturday afternoon. I quickly googled “best granola” and found an easy sounding one from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 My Mods 

  • The recipe calls for old fashioned oats, but I use half old fashioned half quick cooking
  • The first time I made the granola I added a touch of local honey in addition to the maple syrup.
  • I leave out the almonds
  • I add a smidgen of maple extract instead of almond extract. Good choice.
  • I don’t bake the dried fruit along with the granola. I add the raisins after the granola has cooled.
  • I spread out the granola in a deep metal baking dish and pat it down with a spatula. I don’t “stir” every 15 minutes, I flip and try not to disturb the granola. This gives me some clumps at the end of the drying time.

Healthy Kitchen Healthy Budget Granola3
Healthy Kitchen Healthy Budget Granola2

The Result

I’ve made this recipe at least four times in the past two weeks because we go through it so quickly. I LOVE how it is not so sugary sweet and I can drink the leftover milk.  I can’t say it’s my pre-schooler’s favorite cereal, yet, but he will eat some in the morning. The toddler loves it, and wears most of it.  The best part is, it’s made from ingredients I always have on hand. Win!

Give this recipe a try, I bet you will ditch the store bought stuff too!

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