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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Granola or Granola Bars!!! Homemade Recipe, Easy and Inexpensive! With pics

I absolutely love granola, especially with some homemade yogurt, but granola and granola bars can be really expensive! I've tried a few ways and this is my absolute favorite! I actually "fell" into the granola recipe trying to make some homemade granola bars, but I didn't use enough honey and peanut butter in my first experiment so the granola bars didn't stick together well...therefore they crumbled into amazing granola, which I was just as excited about! I modified the recipe and was able to make granola bars that were just as scrumptious and were excellent snacks to throw in my purse to have on hand when someone got hungry!

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 2 1/2 cups Nuts and Seeds (this is where you can get creative and have each granola be different and not be repetitive!) I use about 3/4 cup crushed almonds, 3/4 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds...but you can use any combination or nut you want or have to make up 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • (for Granola) use 1/4 cup EACH of Honey, Brown Sugar, and Peanut Butter
  • (for Granola Bars) use 1/2 cup EACH of Honey, Brown Sugar, and Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup dried fruit (another way to change up each granola recipe!) cranberries and raisins are favs here
The only step that is different if you are making Granola or Granola Bars is Step 11!
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
Step 2: Line a square baking pan (8x8 or 9x9) with parchment paper.
Step 3: Crush your almonds and peanuts (or whatever other nuts you want to the size you want them!)...this is a great time to get the kids involved, my kids LOVE it! I use the bottom side of my rolling pin with the nuts all in the bottom of my large measuring cup.
Crush them into whatever size you want...I like to have some really fine and some still a little larger for a good crunch!

Step 4: Combine the nuts, seeds, oats, & flax meal

Step 5: Spread out the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 15-20 minutes

Step 6: About 5 minutes before the oat mixture is done toasting Combine the honey, peanut butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla in a pan over medium heat and stir...stir constantly to avoid burning!

Step 7: Once the oats are done toasting and the sugary peanut butter mixture is smooth pour it all into a bowl together with the dried fruit and stir it up :)

Step 8: Press the mixture into your square pan (lined with parchment paper)...press it real firm (I used the bottom of my measuring cup to get it nice and tight). This step helps to get some good chunks of granola! If you want flaky granola you don't have to press it in real firm, but I like chunks!! This step is super important for the granola bars though, otherwise they wont be firm enough and will end up being granola :)

Step 9: Bake at 325 for 30 minutes

Step 10: Remove pan from oven and let it cool for several hours (letting the mixture cool while still in the pan will help all the good chunks form together! This is super important for the granola bars too!)
Look at that beautiful golden brown coloring!

Step 11: Once your mixture is cooled, pull the mixture out using the parchment paper. (Step 12: Cut or Crumble, depending if you want granola or granola bars!)
Step 12 (For Granola): Crumbled the mixture into the sizes you want onto a baking sheet :) I let my crumbled granola cool even longer out on a baking sheet (to avoid moisture build up in my jar when I store it) then I pour it into a canning jar and it is ready whenever breakfast or snacks are needed!
Crumbly, Golden Granola!!
Step 12 (For Granola Bars): Make sure your bar is cooled completely and take a sharp knife and cut into the size bars you want, wrap the bars with plastic wrap or put them in a mini zip lock baggy (I have 2"x4" baggies for snacks) and they are ready to go!

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