It’s been several months now, since I purchased processed, breakfast cereal for my kids. But I knew that on our twelve day camping adventure we were going to need some store-bought, sugary cereal. It was a vacation, after all. So I bought a package with little boxes of Fruit Loops, Rice Krispies, and Apple Jacks inside.
I was a hero to my children. However, I didn’t completely loose my eating healthy marbles, so I packed a bunch of my homemade granola to take, as well. And wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, it actually got eaten (just as soon as the Fruit Loops were gone, of course.)
Today is your lucky day, Gentle Reader. I’m going to share my magic granola recipe with you. Four out of five citizens at Bunkersdown love this stuff (the only hold-out is the eleven year old boy, and he’s weird.)
What is name of this marvelous recipe, you ask? Crock-pot granola.
I know, I know. You’re completely stunned at the brilliance of of it. Delicious, homemade granola made in the crock-pot. No heating up your house, no burning your oats, just wonderful, tasty granola.
Here’s my recipe:
5-6 cups of uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup of coconut oil (if you have it, if not canola works fine. It just won’t have the same depth of coconuty flavor.)
1/2 cup of honey (or, if you would like a change, real maple syrup)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of sweetened coconut
You can also add half a cup of your favorite nuts if you are fortunate enough to be a braces-free environment. I have also heard of people adding half a cup of dry quinoa for some added crunch and protein. Go as the spirit leads you.
Here’s what you do. First spray the inside of your crock pot with a non-stick spray. But if you forget, it still turns out fine. Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined, then pour into the crock pot.
Here is the most important step: LEAVE THE LID SLIGHTLY AJAR. That way all the steam can escape and your granola will be crunchy- not mushy.
Finally, turn the crock pot on low and thoroughly stir the mixture every thirty minutes or so. The whole process takes about three hours and toward the end you might want to check your granola a little more often so it won’t get too brown. Just remember after you stir it to LEAVE THE LID SLIGHTLY AJAR. I cannot emphasize this point enough.
When everything is as toasty and golden-brown as you want it, pour the granola into a large container. (We use old four quart ice cream buckets. Because we’re cheap.)
This is when I add a cup of dried fruit (raisins, dried cherries, or dried cranberries are our favorites- but do what you will.) And then I add half a cup of chocolate chips. Or white chocolate chips. Or butterscotch chips. You really can’t go wrong.
Let the granola cool down completely, then cover with a lid and store for up to three weeks. Although, ours has never lasted that long, so I can’t tell you what happens after that.
This recipe makes anywhere from 10-14 servings and tastes delicious with yogurt, your favorite type of milk, or, my ten year old testifies, by itself.
Voila! Breakfast magic. In the crock pot.