Well this post is beyond past due. For some reason I thought I had written this post, but I guess I didn't.
Ok here's the easiest way to make your own granola.
1. Start with a base: 6 cups of oats, 2 cups of chopped nuts. Put these in a big bowl and mix them up.
2. Add some sorts of seeds or whatever you have that will make this interesting (no fruit yet). At this stage I add flax seeds, nutritional yeast, stuff like that.
3. Now you need a binder. This is a liquidy and perhaps slightly sweet part that will cause the oats to stick together and brown up. You'll need at least 1 cup of binder. Try maple syrup or applesauce, or both!
4. Mix all this really well and put in the oven at 300 degrees in a thin layer. I use large two sheet pans ("jelly roll pans"), placed on two oven racks in the middle spots.
5. As it's cooking, stir every 10 minutes. I usually do this 3 or 4 times. The most important part in this stage is NOT TO BURN IT. You must be vigilant about the stirring.
6. When it's done, take it out of the oven and add your dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, whatever). Stir one last time. If you add the fruit during or before the cooking process they'll get all hard and disgusting and they will break your teeth. Yuck.
Let cool completely. Store in a tightly sealed container in the pantry. At this point you can treat it like cereal: mix with yogurt, add milk, whatever. Enjoy!
Let's figure out how much this costs, compared to regular store-bought granola. High quality store granola costs about $5 per pound. This recipe makes about 3 pounds and costs about $7. Win-win.
Pocket: 7, Planet: 13, Win-Win: 42