Granola at Home

For Christmas my parents gave everyone in the family a bag or tub (depending on family size) of homemade granola. They used the same recipe my Mom worked with when I was growing up. I remember eating Mom’s granola from cereal-boxed shaped Tupperware containers alternately atop a bowlful of yogurt or served with milk. Having received my granola in a bag, I decided I needed such a container for ours too. I didn’t go as far as to have a Tupperware party, but one of the first things I did after returning home from Christmas was to purchase a Sistema cereal box from the Container Store to house my granola. Since then I’ve been enjoying breakfasts of granola with homemade yogurt (thanks to Tom). Yesterday I noticed we were almost out of granola, so I called home for the recipe and decided to dive in and learn to make it myself.

With only a minor variation or two, the recipe comes from The More with Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre (1976). The book is (still!) available and is described (on as a gathering of:

500 recipes from Mennonite kitchens that tell us how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources. All recipes have been tested by professional home economists. This cookbook is written for those who care about their own health and the food needs of others in the world.

The recipe makes about 2—3 quarts of granola. The recipe is very basic (measure, mix, bake), but I’m going to have to train my nose to sense the granola’s doneness. The batch I put together today has the right taste and texture, but there’s a little burn in there too. The hardest part for some, depending on your access to high-quality bulk foods, may be sourcing the ingredients. Unsweetened coconut, if not available at your standard supermarket, can be found in health food stores. Wheat germ will be in the refrigerated section if it’s available in your grocery’s bulk foods and can otherwise be found sold by Bob’s Red Mill or jarred in the cereal or baking section. (The Wedge was out of bulk wheat germ, so I went with a bag from Bob’s Red Mill which I am now storing in a Ball jar in the fridge. I plan to start secretly adding it to everything.) Be sure to look for raw nuts and seeds in all cases.

Set the oven to 325º

Mix in Large bowl:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 4 cups old fashioned oatmeal (ideally not quickoats)
  • 1 cup hulled, raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Bring to a boil:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Grease two cookie sheets and, dividing the mixture in half, spread the granola evenly across the sheets. Jelly roll pans will work best as you’ll avoid spilling any of the grains when stirring the mixture in the oven.

Bake for a total of 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and watching carefully in the last 10 minutes to avoid any burning (as I said I may have caused a bit of burning today, but no matter!).

More images on Flickr.


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6 comments on “Granola at Home”

  1. Sue 14 January, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Looks wonderful! I will definitely give it a try. Thanks, Martha.

  2. Martha 15 January, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I hope you like it, Sue. The verdict is in that the slight burning was no-bad-thing. The toasty character of this batch gives it deeper, more nuanced flavor.

  3. Annie 15 January, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I love the More With Less Cookbook! Thanks for reminding me of it!

  4. Martha 15 January, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Annie, it’s great to hear that The More With Less Cookbook is a part of others’ homes! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Linda 17 January, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    When the five Garcés children were growing up we regularly made six times this recipe.
    Everyone helped to stir it in the large plastic bucket we used. It helped that we belonged to a food co-op. This granola tastes good as a topping for vanilla ice cream.

    Martha, you made me chuckle by saying you would be sneaking wheat germ into everything now. Sara fondly refers to “my wheat germ phase” when I did that. It’s great to sprinkle a little on macaroni and cheese.

  6. ErikaKay 9 April, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I just tried it and it tastes wonderful!! I added some dried cranberries, but everything else was to the recipe. I did have a little problems with the burning, but the majority of it turned out great! A fun recipe to tweak and work with. Thanks for sharing!

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