Healthy snacks start with fresh whole ingredients and developing a strategy for making your own homemade granola without a recipe is a big step towards eating real food. I’ve been making yogurt every week so making granola was a natural next step. I made all the mistakes so you don’t have to.
A word about Mexican snacks:
There are a lot of bad snacks in Mexico. Many are high in sugar and hydrogenated oils and don’t even get me started on the weird fluorescent red “sauce” the kids put on their chips and other “snacks”. Ugh. What ever happening to grabbing an apple or a piece of cheese for a midday pick me up?
In truth, America has many more scary snacks than Mexico so this homemade granola recipe will come in handy in the U.S. also. I blame the U.S. for introducing processed “snacks” to other cultures
Snacks for the adventure:
If you saw me packing for the Baja this year you would think that I was packing for a trek through the remote regions of Outer Mongolia.
I packed protein bars, nut bars, Lara bars and huge bags of nuts; much like an animal facing hibernation.
My husband had one comment, “Are you afraid you’ll starve in Mexico?”
Me, “Uh, no but the prepared snacks in Baja have scary ingredients and besides, even squirrels plan ahead for winter.”
Homemade granola is so easy and inexpensive to make.
You need a few key ingredients, a rolled or puffed grain, a fat and a sweetener, but the fun comes with mixing and matching those ingredients with nuts, seeds and dried fruits to fit your tastes. I tried a few recipes from the Internet before developing my foolproof basic recipe. Not too oily, not too sweet and full of fiber and protein. Granolas are calorie dense so a small portion is best if you’re watching your weight.
Non-Recipe for Homemade Granola
Start with 1/3 cup of healthy fat or oil: nut butter, coconut oil, or fruity olive oil. Mix with 1/3 cup natural sweetener: agave syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, molasses, or honey.
Spice it up with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne!, sea salt, vanilla or all of the them.
Add 2 cups of rolled or puffed grain(s): oats, barley, wheat or rice. Experiment with 2-4 tablespoons of nutritious seeds:flax, chia, sesame or quinoa. Try dried fruits: raisins, cherries, blueberries, apples. Add one or more nuts: pecans, almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes.
Bake on a cookie sheet at 300F for 30 minutes, stirring once around 15 minutes. Store at room temperature in a covered glass dish. Serve over yogurt with fresh fruit or with milk or eat a small handful just because.