low cost granola??

debrak_2008November 6, 2012

Can I save money on cereal? I eat granola everyday for breakfast and sometimes lunch. DH also eats is sometimes. I buy Wegmans for 2.69 lb. It has about 18 cups. Go through at least 1 box a week or more.

I've looked at some of the threads here for making granola. They sound tasty but do you really save money? Nuts are costly. One receipe called for 2 cups of almonds, that has to be at least $3 or more and I buy in the bulk section. That receipe only made 10 cups. I know prices very but wondering....

if you make granola cereal, do you save money or just do it for the taste/health/fun?

I am going to try this as I can do it without a working sink in the kitchen!

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I make my own because it tastes SO much better and I know exactly what goes in it :) Also the commercial granolas are never done enough to suit me. They leave them that way as they weigh more since they have not baked out the water .

I have used this recipe since the 80's. It is from the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. My Momma cut it out and sent it to me. I have never varied it and we never get tired of it. This is a double recipe and I store it in the freezer.

12 c old fashioned oatmeal ( 1 large box)
2 c pecans
2c sunflower seeds ( raw)
2c coconut ribbons ( I like big pieces of coconut)

Heat 2 c honey, 2c peanut butter, 2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 c water till smooth. Pour over the dry mix and stir to coat. Bake at least one to one 1/2 hrs at 275-300 degrees. Watch it and stir every 15 min. Labor intensive but this roasts it very well and gives a nice through and through crunch with no burning. Good Luck...some things are just better homemade no matter the cost ! c

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 1:20PM
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The reason I make my own granola is so I can control fat, sugar and carbohydrates, aiming for less grain and more protein than is typically found in commercial granola, choosing low-glycemic sweeteners, and I avoid trans-fats.

Granola is part of a healthy diet, not the main event, especially if you are excluding things like fruit and vegetables in your diet.

A serving of granola is generally 1/4-cup. That means there should be about 72-servings in the 18-cup Wegman's brand. Do you realize you may be consuming as many as 10-servings from the grain group per day just from granola? Add to that any bread, pasta, rice, cereal....

There is a down-side to consuming too many carbohydrates? High blood glucose (if you consume high levels of carbohydrates, your body may not produce enough insulin to manage blood glucose levels), high cholesterol (a diet high in carbohydrates may increase your blood cholesterol levels), obesity (carbohydrates that are not used as energy are stored by your body as fat cells).

Granola normally contains a large percentage of oats. Oats contain more difficult-to-digest phytates than almost any other grain. I'm surprised you haven't developed a mineral loss or irritation of the intestinal tract consuming that much each day. The oat bran, unless soaked first, can have a chelating or detoxifying effect and interfere with mineral absorption when you consume a lot of it.

Personally, hubby and I only eat 4-servings of grains per day. When we have granola, it's used more like a condiment, not a meal. I'll add a tablespoon to the top of a poached pear, baked apple, or other fruit - our answer to making a high-fat, high-carb pie. Add a tablespoon to some homemade coconut milk kefir or homemade yogurt for some crunchiness.

I don't purchase any commercial cereals because they are the biggest rip-off in the store. There is approximately 17-cents worth of grain in a regular box of cereal. I mill all cooked cereal and flakes we use from sprouted and dried whole grains. If the grain isn't sprouted, we use it sparingly.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Thanks for the receipe trailrunner.

grainlady, the serving size is 1/2 a cup. I don't think I eat more than that as I just put some on top of all bran cereal. If I'm in a hurry for lunch I will eat another small bowl. My "cereal" is usually all bran, granola, flax seeds, soy nuts, maybe added almonds and walnuts (small amounts) with some cinnamon.

I could start measuring the granola part to see how much I'm actually eating.

Maybe I should not try to make this at home as I may be tempted to eat even more.....

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:14PM
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I also make it because I like the homemade stuff, and I can control the ingredients, so I put in what I like.

I use this recipe that I got from Gardengrl (Kathy), I love anything maple. It's not cheap or low calorie, but I use it mostly on top of yogurt or as a snack. The consistency means I can't eat big chunks, because it doesn't stay in chunks. I normally leave out the coconut because neither of my girls like them, and I leave out all nuts because Amanda can't eat them. I'll sprinkle a few in my own serving if it suits me. I add dried fruit at the end, usually dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries because that's what I normally have. I like the raisin mixture from Trader Joe's, if I have some and I've added dried pineapple and that was good too. I always use Grade B local Michigan maple syrup, love the stuff...

MAPLE GRANOLA (from gardengrl)

7 cups thick oat flakes (rolled oats), uncooked
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup almonds, sliced or broken up
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped or broken up
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup raisins
additional dried fruit/nuts as desired
In a very large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over dry mixture in bowl, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined (your bare hands are the best tools for this step).
Spread granola on a couple of large, ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 250�F oven for 2 hours, tossing mixture every 15 minutes or so. Remove pans from oven and cool completely. Transfer granola to a large bowl, and mix in raisins and any additional dried fruit desired -- dates, figs, currants, dried cranberries or blueberries, etc. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:20PM
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I may make this for fun and for snacks but not for cereal on a regular bases. Checking prices it appears the wegmans granola is a good price and I would not be able to beat it. I can see that DH would enjoy some of the recipes posted as a snack.

grainlady, it seems like I'm eating about a 1/4 cup a day on my cereal. Thanks for the health info. You know so much about this stuff you should write a book. I'm not joking!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:10AM
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I make my own granola too, but it is so much better than the store bought stuff, so I can't stop eating it, then I have to make some more, and so on! It's not diet food, and homeade is harder to resist! Lowfat granola, I've made and had that too, an oxymoron. But you can make it somewhat lower in fat than store bought becuase store bought is ridiculously high in sugar and fat. Homeade is moderately high. But you can do lower fat versions that are more like meusli. I just don't like those as well. So anyway, point is, I make my own but not for cost savings or calorie savings, but because it tastes so good and so much better than store bought.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:27AM
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I prefer my homemade granola because it does not have any oil in it. I make it with oats, maple syrup, some nuts and I forget what else. I think I'll try using granola as a "topping" on other cereals.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:27AM
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I only use 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of honey to 3 cups of oats, and about a cup each of coconut and thin-sliced almonds. It toasts very nicely in the oven. When it's cool I add a cup of dried cranberries. Rolled oats in bulk are very cheap. The nuts of course are not.

I had the idea of replacing some of the oil with Nutella. Looked on the web and sure enough, people have already been making Nutella granola. I'm going to try it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:39AM
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I used to make granola, but these days I can find granola with just the ingredients I would use, and it is already made - but not inexpensive. One brand I buy is Erin Baker, and it is about $5.00 for 12 oz, and another brand I buy is Bear Naked, for about the same price. The reason I started making granola in the first place was so that I could make it without cinnamon - I hate cinnamon on granola, and so many of the store brands have cinnamon. There are other ingredients I want/do not want, but the granola companies seem to be more accommodating to my preferences these days - at least there are many more brands and flavors than used to be available. Some stores will have almost an entire side of one aisle with nothing but granola. I found the selection particularly good in Austin, but it's practically as good here. Austin is definitely a granola town - even more than L.A.

When I calculate what my time is worth, it is cheaper to buy granola than to make it. I think a 12 oz bag lasts me a couple of weeks, and so it's not a big investment.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 2:37PM
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you can save a lot by getting the base and bulk items from feed stores.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:09PM
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When I was a child, I used to eat "Horse & Mule" feed that DF bought to feed the dairy cows. It was made with rolled oats and molasses, and I would just eat small amounts when I was feeding the cows.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:36PM
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I use a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that is based on one by Nigella Lawson. . .love it!! Not too sweet and you can vary the nuts, fruits to to suit. Great as a topper for Greek Yogurt for breakfast!!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:50PM
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this is a recipe that I got here; I believe from Lori Jean, and it's my go-to granola recipe.

Vanilla-Scented Granola

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup golden brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried apricots, raisins and coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Lightly spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl. Combine oil, honey, and sugar in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture; stir well. Using hands, toss mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Spread granola on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to rack; cool granola completely. Mix in dried fruit and store in airtight container at room temperature.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:13PM
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"My" recipe has a cup of oil but it also has something like 14 cups of other "stuff", and makes a lot, at least 30 servings. So a cup of oil and a cup of maple syrup spread over 30 servings is about a teaspoon and a half per serving, maybe a bit less, so I don't think that's ridiculously high in oil or sweetener.

The nuts and seeds do have some fat but it's healthier fat that occurs naturally, so in moderation I think granola is actually pretty healthy, especially when used as a garnish/ingredient/side dish instead of being eaten by the bowlful with whole milk.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Granola in my house is dangerous stuff. I love it. It is cereal crack.



    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:25AM
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Yeah Eileen, that's my problem too. No it's not unhealthy when eaten in moderation. Now what's that?? And it's so insiduous . . . just one more little handful . . . OK maybe just one more . . .

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:33AM
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