Otherwise known as Clear-Out-Your-Cabinets Granola or Trader Joe’s Granola*.
You can buy some pretty dang good granola, so why make your own? Is it cheaper?- Yes. Is it better than store bought versions?- For sure. But I admit this was not my motivation.
I make granola to purge my pantry.
*Trader Joe’s is a specialty grocery store that sources unique products from mostly smaller producers. If you have one in your area then you are in luck. All required ingredients can be found at TJs. If not check the bulk food section
Those almonds and dried cherries were intended to make their way on top of salads and as healthy snacks. I had honorable intentions when the dried food section sucked me in. Unfortunately, somewhere between the brown sugar and quinoa, several other well-intentioned bags are already stashed away in my cabinet. At one point, my pantry had raisins, dried apricots, cherries and blueberries. In addition, I was accumulating just about every nut under the sun. That is when I started making my own granola.
Specialty granola can be expensive but making your own is easy, cheap AND a great way to purge out the pantry. I call that a win-win. I’ve left this recipe as a template so you can tweak to whatever you have available.
Adaptable Homemade Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped or sliced nuts, preferably untoasted (I used slivered almonds)
- 1 cup coconut flakes (optional)
- 1 cup dried fruit (I used cherries)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sweetener (I used maple syrup, other options include agave syrup, honey or brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup oil (I used coconut oil but canola oil or butter would also work)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 deg F. Combine dry ingredients (everything through the salt) in a large bowl. Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl. Stir in sweetener, oil, and cocoa powder (some ingredients may need to be microwaved first if not liquid at room temperature). Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until fully coated. Spread on to a baking sheet and press down. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the oven and let the granola slowly cool in the oven (can be moved to a counter top after 10-15 minutes if oven is needed) overnight. Break apart and store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks. Stir in chocolate chips if using.
Special Equipment Needed: None