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Know Your Ingredients, Know Your Costs

$0.50 and 40 Minute Granola

$0.50 and 40 Minute Granola

Granola is one of my favorite foods not only to make but also to share. This is my go-to granola recipe that contains only pure ingredients with no added processed sugar for the cost of $0.50 a serving. Make sure to scroll down and check out both the Chocolate Peppermint and Vanilla Honey versions!

Ingredients (~10 Servings):

Base:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats or quick oats (can replace 1:1 with unsweetened coconut to make gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup of raw nuts/seeds, roughly chopped (I prefer 1/3 cup of pecans, almonds, and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 TBSP of whole flaxseed
  • 3 TBSP of hot water
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Peppermint Chocolate Granola:

  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP of maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Vanilla Honey:

  • 2 TBSP raw local honey
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Tools:

  • Cutting board
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Tray
  • Small bowl
  • Two medium mixing bowls
  • Silicon or wooden spoon
  • Spatula

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
  2. Line baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Make a flax egg by combining whole flax seeds with hot water in small bowl. Set aside for ~5 minutes so it will become soupy.
  4. Roughly chop nuts, add them to a medium-sized bowl, and mix in the remainder of the dry ingredients.
  5. Adding the flavoring:
    • Vanilla Honey Granola: Mix honey, vanilla, and flax egg in the other medium bowl then combine them with the dry ingredients.
    • Peppermint Chocolate Granola: Mix cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, peppermint, and vanilla extract in the other medium bowl until combined into a smooth mixture (same as for the $5 and 30 Minute Cardamom Raisin Squares recipe!). Mix flax egg and chocolate peppermint into the dry ingredients.
  6. Scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and flatten with the back of the spoon.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, flip granola using the spatula, then bake for 15 more minutes.
  8. Let rest on the counter for 15 minutes to allow the clusters to solidify and enjoy!
  9. Store in a sealed container (plastic bag, mason jar, etc.). The granola will store in the pantry for at least a month.

Total time = 40 Minutes (10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook)

 Chocolate Granola Bowl

Tips:

Ingredients: You also have the option to double or remove the flax eggs all together. If you double the flax seeds, your granola will have many more large clusters and it will have a stronger flax seed taste (think less sweet). If you remove the flax seeds, your granola will have fewer clusters and still taste incredible!

Step 1 – You may be thinking I’ll just crank the oven temperature up to 400F and cut my baking time in half… Not so fast! You don’t want to bake your granola at too high a temperature because the maple syrup will burn. I’ve seen recipes that range from 300F to 350F, so I picked the sweet spot right in the middle and it has worked out great.

Step 3 – Check out my $0.50 and 70 Whole Wheat Apple Banana Bread post for more on flax eggs!

Step 4 – Don’t those ingredients just look delicious! Note the size of the nuts, roughly chopping them helps large clusters form!

IMG_5823

Step 5 – For the Chocolate Peppermint Granola: The maple syrup/coconut oil/cocoa powder mixture should be smooth before you add it to the dry ingredients. Cold maple syrup and/or coconut oil can lead to clumps. If needed, you can put the mixture in the microwave. And if still not smooth after using the microwave, add 1/2 TBSP more of maple syrup. A smooth chocolate peppermint mixture will coat the dry ingredients evenly, while a clumpier mixture will result in small chocolate peppermint clumps throughout. If this happens, embrace it! Your granola will still be incredibly delicious because you’re using great ingredients!

Step 7 – Using a spatula to flip the granola allows you to keep your precious granola clusters intact!

Step 8 – You can leave the granola directly on the parchment paper and baking tray to cool.

Good luck waiting 15 minutes before you try any of it. I burn my tongue on pretty much every batch. However the more you let cool on the counter, the more clusters your granola will have.

Cost per Peppermint Chocolate Granola:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats ~ $0.25
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes ~ $0.50
  • 1 cup of raw nuts/seed ~ $2
  • 1 TBSP of whole flaxseed ~ $0.10
  • 3 TBSP of hot water – negligible
  • 1/8 tsp salt ~ negligible
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder ~$0.25
  • 2 TBSP of maple syrup ~ $0.50
  • 2 TBSP of coconut oil ~ $0.50
  • 1 tsp of peppermint extract ~$0.50
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract ~ $0.25

Total Cost per batch ~ $5

Cost per serving (~10 servings) ~ $0.50

Conclusion:

Granola is a cost and health issue for me.

  1. How is granola so flipping expensive? It’s basic pantry ingredients (nuts, seeds, oats, etc.) with a little sugar, baked in the oven for a half an hour. Yet it’s impossible to find a bag for less than $10! I cannot figure out what ingredients or cooking technique justifies the cost!
  2. Most granola I find appears to look healthy from the outside of the bag – I mean it’s got nuts and seeds and whole grains, how could it not be. But then you look at the ingredients. Number one, usually oats. That’s fine. Number two, brown sugar. Uh oh. Number three, brown rice syrup. Ahhhhh, make it stop! So much for granola being the healthy choice.

That’s why I put this recipe together. Granola should be as good for you as it tastes and shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to enjoy!

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

Peppermint Chocolate Granola:

Chocolate Peppermint Granola 1

Vanilla Honey Granola:

Coconut Almond Granola

 



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