I can’t eat normal cereal you buy at the store.
Technically I can eat it, I do have teeth and all, but I can’t eat it because of the sugar content. I don’t have any medical reason for being sensitive to sugar (I just have a physical to make sure) but the only thing we can think of is because I gave up drinking soda over a year ago my taste buds and body are now used to having less sweetness and when I do have sweet its real sugar.
If you cut out as much fake sugar you can, your body will much love it. Plus you then can actually realize what your body is going through when you eat real sugar, and you tend to eat less of it also.
So of course in my neurotic foodie tendencies I decided to make my own.
Not only is making my own cereal/granola much easier than I thought, I’m also excited that I’m making it exactly how I need it to be. Less sugar, lots of cinnamon, and no nuts! Most granola’s or healthy cereals out there include nuts. I get it, nuts are healthy, but not healthy to those who can’t eat them.
Its really quite simple. You have the water to soak into the oats to make them soft and able to absorb any flavorings you add, melted and cooled butter to help brown it, honey for some sweetness, and then the flavorings. I like to use a lot of cinnamon, a little nutmeg and a bit of vanilla.
I like to add all my wet ingredients together first so that its easier to get everything evenly distributed later. Normally I add my water and vanilla later after I mix in the butter and honey, but I’m lazy and I really haven’t seen too much of a difference in how it turned out.
Add all the wet ingredients to your dry, old fashioned oats, and mix well.
Mix really well. And quickly. If you let your oats just sit with all the stuff you just poured on them it’ll just turn into a big pile of mush. Then you get clumpies when you bake it, you don’t want clumpies!
Keep in mind you’ll need a big pan to do this in. It does take 5 cups of oats, and that’s a LOT of oats. Make sure to spread them nice and even. You want them to cook as evenly as possible.
Now comes the fun part. Cook it for over an hour. But every 10 minutes you need to take it out and stir it around to make sure it gets evenly cooked everywhere. And to make sure to get all the clumpies out.
That is a clumpie. Even if you mix the oats really fast in the beginning, you probably will get some clumpies. In the first few rounds of baking make sure to try and find all the clumpies and get rid of them.
Kill them. Kill them dead. Just take your heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon and gently bonk them around until they un-clump. Just mix it back up and stick it back in the oven.
The last time I think I’m going to stick it back in the oven for another round of baking, I tend to drizzle another 1-2 tablespoons of honey over the top of it, give it a little shine and a little extra sweetness.
You can tell when the granola is done when it is hot but still crispy in your fingers, I tend to test for done-ness by dropping a few pieces onto a plate. If you hear it hit the plate with a little “ding” then its done. You’ll know. It just sounds crisp.
When its done baking, turn off the oven and stick the granola back in the oven and just let it hang out. This will help ensure that the oats are completely dried out. Plus its a place to stick the granola while it’s still cooling. Just remember that its in there in a few hours and put it in an air tight container.
I do have to warn you. This stuff is crunchy. Not like normal run of the mill granola crunchy where there are nuts and other fun things in it. By itself it is darn crunchy and filling. I generally only have 1/4 cup at a time because while it tastes good, it can really make your jaw tired. Really tired.
Because its a very mild cereal, I love to add dried cranberries and tart apple chips. Just a little. what can beat the taste of a cinnamon, cranberry apple cereal? Not any of those over sugared store bought ones.
Makes 5 cups
- 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup margarine or butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the rolled oats.
- Combine honey, butter, nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well. Add the cold water and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to oats, stirring gently but quickly until well mixed.
- Pour mixture into a 15”x8” baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cook the granola until it turns crispy. Granola should be a definite golden brown and crisp.
- During the baking process drizzle the remaining honey lightly over the top of the granola in a few doses.
- Turn oven off, leave the oven door ajar, and allow the granola to cool in the oven. When it is room temperature, transfer it to a covered container.