Better-Than-Quaker Homemade Granola
(Cereal and/or Bars: With nut-free and dairy-free options)
This homemade granola gets rave reviews from everyone who tries it. The secret is in the sweetener/binder, and in the nut pulp.
What’s nut pulp? It’s what's left over after you make nut milk; which I make weekly. I hate to throw out all of the leftover nut ‘meat’. Though I never seem to be able to use it all, this recipe helps put at least some of it to good use.
The addition of the nut pulp with the condensed sweetener makes the granola come out in nice chewy and crunchy clumps instead of loose like muesli. It holds up great in milk, nut milk, soy milk, yogurt, or whatever you like to put on your breakfast cereal.
So, for those who wonder what to do with leftover nut pulp, then this recipe is made for you.
However, I have also made this granola with out it with good results. Just be sure to bake it for less time because without the extra moisture it can turn out rock hard.
I have also used a ripe banana in place of the nut milk, which is also a good alternative for a moister granola. Check out the options noted in the recipe below for ways to make this granola totally vegan and nut-free. It’s already gluten-free, of course.
More than many recipes this one is extremely adaptable. If you don’t eat nuts, feel free to omit them. If you don’t eat dairy, use the non-dairy option (see recipe below). Change up the flavors with different dried fruits (figs, dates, cherries, blueberries, apricots), various nuts or seeds, and even different spices (try ginger!). As usual, I’ll give you my favorite version and you can take it from there.
The cooking directions are for granola that is firm, with crunchy edges, but that is still slightly chewy. Feel free to bake a little longer if you like your granola super crunchy.
The quantities I use make a very big batch: two and a half large baking sheets. I typically cut about one third of the final product into granola bars and break the rest up into breakfast cereal. Here in Argentina energy bars don’t exist, and the few granola bars that are for sale in the stores are basically straight-up puffed grain and sugar bars. Yes, there is sugar in this recipe, but not all that much once you break it down by the serving.
Try it out and share your comments.
Recipe for Better-Than-Quaker Homemade Granola (Cereal and/or Bars)
6 cups oats (the ‘traditional’ kind, not whole groats or instant)
1 1/2 cups nut pulp, I usually have almond or walnut
(options: 1 ripe banana smashed, or omit entirely and bake for less time)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup banana chips, broken up into small pieces
A large handful raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk (See * below for dairy-free option)
Note: The cans I use are 395 grams which is between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 cups.
1/2 cup maple syrup (I also use miel de caña which a South American cane molasses syrup)
Coconut oil or butter to grease the pans
Heat oven to 325F (150C).
Place two baking sheets in the oven to preheat. (If you can’t bake two at a time in your oven, you can do it in batches.)
Combine all of the dry ingredients, then mix in the sweeteners until thoroughly moist and combined.
Grease the now hot baking sheets with coconut oil or butter.
Press the granola mixture into the pans to about 1/2 inch thick, or a little thinner. It should be packed in evenly in one layer
Bake for about 30 minutes, turning or rotating the pans halfway through if needed.
When done the granola should be firm, golden brown, darker around the edges, and still yield slightly to pressure in the middle.
Remove from oven and cut into bars and/or sections for breaking up into cereal. Be sure to cut and loosen in the pans within 5 minutes of removing from oven. The granola will get much firmer as cools, to the point that it can be very difficult to get out of the pan.
Let cool completely and store in airtight containers.
Click here for tips for easy clean up of tough pans.
* To make this recipe without the dairy, you can either buy or make sweetened condensed coconut milk.
To make it: Simmer two cups full fat coconut milk and 1/2 cup honey, stirring regularly, for about 35 minutes until it gets thick and changes texture and color. You’ll know when it’s done.
Mixing up the ingredients
Pressed into pan and ready to bake
Cut into granola bars
Use this link to ask questions or leave comments on this recipe post.