Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Homemade Granola

I LOVE my breakfast. Most days, I finish my breakfast and wish that I had packed the same thing for lunch. I have been eating the same breakfast for over a year and not a single day has gone by that I grumble "ugh, this again?!"

The parameters to my breakfast are simple; I need something that I can throw together, have it in my bag, and be out the door in a max of 5 minutes. So over the course of my working career breakfasts has consisted of:
  • Fruit with some kind of bar
  • Cereal/Granola and a container of milk (usually half the milk is spilt in my bag before I get to work :/) 
  • Instant Oatmeal with some frozen berries, adding hot water at work
  • Steel Cut Oats, made the night before- too much prep to withstand everyday use
I have not been very adventurous with my breakfast choices, but after awhile they all just tasted bland and spilled milk, no matter what container I used, became too frustrating to carry. I had this magical idea of throwing my granola on top of yogurt, instead of milk, and adding a few frozen berries- making my own little breakfast parfait. My breakfast love and I met on that wonderful day! 

Over the past year, my frugal ways have taken over and I have tweaked my breakfast to match my frugalness and also adjusted to my nutritional priorities. Making our own granola became cheaper then buying boxed/bagged granola, it is a bit healthier, and it is fun to make and adjust to our taste. 

So the Granola Breakdown:

7 Cups Old Fashion Rolled Oats ($9.17 for 10 lbs/19.17223 Cups) $3.35

1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut ($2.49 for 14 oz) $.71 

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar ($4.39 for 7lbs/13.42056 Cups) $.08

3/4 Cup Olive Oil ($9.98 for 102 oz)  $.59

1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup ($50.00 for 128 oz) $1.56

1/4 Cup Honey ($12.79 for 80 oz) $.32

1 Cups Walnuts, chopped ($23.32 for 3lbs/5.75167 Cups) $4.05

1/2 Cup  Dried Craisins or Raisins, rehydrate by soaking in water for an hour ($2.00 for 10oz) $.80

Directions: Combine Oats, Coconut and Brown Sugar. After they are mixed well, add the Oil, Maple Syrup, and Honey. You can choose to do more honey then Maple syrup, but I love the maple taste :) Put it in a large glass baking dish and roast at 200-250 degrees for about 1.5 hrs stirring every 15-20 minutes. Once it is lightly toasted add the walnuts and re-hydrated fruit for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. Watch the oats carefully at the end so they don't burn. 

Once they are toasted to your liking, take them out of the oven and spread them on a flat surface to cool- this is when the granola clumps. Store away to eat all week long :) 

This recipe yields roughly 15 Cups or 120 Oz of granola for a total cost of  $ 11.46 per batch.  

In doing a quick review on Google Shopping , here is a comparison to 3 other granola brands:

Quaker Oats Granola $4.50 for 28.7 oz @ 120 oz this would cost $18.81
Special K Granola $2.98 for 11.3 oz @ 120 oz this would cost $31.65
Eating Right (Store brand) Granola $2.99 for 18oz @120 this would cost $19.93

Looks like homemade granola, though an investment in bulk ingredients at the front, ends up being a much better long term investment for our wallet!

With the added extras, my breakfast breakdown works out to be: 

1/2 c Granola $0.38
1/2 c Greek Yogurt ( $2.99 32 oz ) $0.37
1-2 T of Frozen Berries (7.99 14.4 Cups) $.07
1 T Chia Seeds (13.99 appx 90 T) $0.16

TOTAL Cost of Breakfast: $0.98

Nick has suggested that we start making our own Greek yogurt to cut down on costs further but I'm not sold yet! For now I will keep to my $.98 breakfast! 

Happy hUMp Day

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