muesli mix with dried fruit and nuts-2

Muesli with nuts and dried fruit

I’ve been dancing around the idea of making muesli for some time now, and one recent Saturday morning I finally made it happen. A quick Wikipedia search turned up a bit of background and basic approach to the dish. I loved the idea of a grated apple making up the bulk of the ingredients.

I tossed some pantry items together and let it soak in some water for about 20 min, then added the shredded apple (not peeled), stirred it all together and topped with a little milk.

I was instantly hooked. It was so easy, simple, healthy, and refreshing. The next day I made it again for breakfast, and on the third day mixed up a couple of jars of it to have on hand.

muesli mix with dried fruit and nuts

Formula

  • 8 dried apricots, diced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/2 c roasted unsalted pumpkin seed kernels
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/3 c almonds, raw and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 c walnuts, toasted pieces
  • 4 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 c raisins

Each time I make a bowl, I stir together 1/4 c of the muesli and 1/4 c water with a dash of sea salt. I let it sit in a bowl for about 30 min., while I shower and get ready. Then I grate 1/2 of on apple and mix it in, topping it all with some milk.

walnut cinnamon maple granola hand lettering with bounce

Walnut Cinnamon Maple Granola

ink drawing of walnut cinnamon maple homemade granola

I improvised a batch of granola using walnuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup. It tastes perfect, and it’s my favorite combo so far. Unfortunately I didn’t take detailed notes of the recipe! I learned a lesson there, and once I realized how much I like this flavor I jotted down the formula the best I could remember:

Formula

  • 3 c raw, whole rolled oats
  • ½ c raw walnut pieces
  • 4 tbsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large pinch fine sea salt
homemade gingersnap granola in jars

Gingersnap granola

homemade gingersnap granola in jars

Recipe

Adapted from Gingersnap Granola from budgetbytes.com

Process notes

  • omitted oat bran, almonds, and raisins
  • baked at 350° for 30 min, stirring once

Results

This granola has a deep, sweet flavor. There’s something about adding milk to it that kicks it up to the next level. Next time I’d shorten the baking time a few minutes so it’s not so hard and crunchy.

bowl of apple pie walnut granola

Apple Walnut Granola

apple pie walnut granola

I don’t normally have store-bought cereal in the pantry, but one day I found a great deal on a granola cereal. Every once in while I sprinkle it on some homemade yogurt and it’s OK, but it’s about half puffed rice so it’s pretty weak. Then the other day I just had a bowl of it with milk like a bowl of cereal. Man oh man, it was so sweet. Too sweet. It hit me that granola is just one more thing that’s so much better made from scratch than bought in the box.

I came up with this recipe based on a few specific ingredients I had in the house: coconut oil, walnuts, and boiled cider syrup. It’s not too sweet, and has a tangy hint of apple. And I liked using the coconut oil, which didn’t flavor the granola like coconut at all.

Apple Walnut Granola

Ingredients

  • 4 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c roughly chopped raw walnuts
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 6 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp boiled cider syrup
  • 3 tbsp honey, warmed in microwave to make it easier to stir in
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Stir to combine the oats, walnuts, salt, and apple pie spice.
  3. Pour in the coconut oil, boiled cider, honey, and vanilla. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour onto baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Then turn the granola with a spatula, press into pan, and bake another 5-10 min.
  5. Let cool in pan. I stored mine in large mason jars, and the granola broke into fairly small pieces.

Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax Seeds, and Sunflower Seeds

Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax, and Sunflower Seeds

It’s very rare that we host overnight guests at our place, but this weekend we’ll have company for a few days. Of course this got me thinking about what the heck other people like to eat at home. This granola sounded like a crowd pleaser and a perfect item for the pantry.

Even though it’s summer, and this tastes like Fall in a bowl, that’s OK because it’s so good.

Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax Seeds, and Sunflower Seeds

Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax, and Sunflower Seeds

Adapted from Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

Makes about 4 cups of granola

Ingredients

  • 3 c oats
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  • 4 tbsp flax seeds
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Measure the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together.
  3. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and pat into a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden.
  4. Cool and place in a container.

Maple Walnut Granola with Cinnamon, Raisins, and Flax Seeds

Maple Walnut Granola with Cinnamon, Raisins, and Flax Seeds

It didn’t take long to devour the Honey Almond Granola with Sunflower Seeds and Flax that I made the other day. Which means it’s time for a new flavor combo!

This batch turned out much too chewy for me because the raisins got even more dehydrated in the oven. Without a moist cake or muffin batter around them for protection, they turned into really tough little guys. Next time I’d definitely leave the raisins out and simply sprinkle them on top when I’m ready to eat.

I reduced the sweetener to 2 tablespoons with this batch, but that made it slightly less sweet than I’d like.

Maple Walnut Granola with Cinnamon, Raisins, and Flax Seeds

Maple Walnut Granola with Cinnamon, Raisins, and Flax Seeds

Adapted from Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 c raw, whole rolled oats
  • ½ c walnuts
  • 3 tbsp flax seeds
  • ½ c raisins (leave these out of the mix if tough, chewy things bum you out like they do me)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large pinch fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Measure the ingredients into a large bowl (leaving the raisins out if desired) and mix together. I used my hands to feel that everything was thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and pat into a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden.
  4. Cool and place in a container.

honey almond granola with sunflower seeds and flax

Honey Almond Granola with Sunflower Seeds and Flax

Lately I’ve been having a craving for cereal, but store bought cereal is on my list of things to avoid because of its processed nature. My husband was struck by a similar craving and suggested granola.

Duh.

Homemade granola was the answer.

honey almond granola with sunflower seeds and flax
The baked granola, cooling in the pan

I found a super easy and healthy recipe for a basic granola formula and customized it for us. It went together very quickly and baked in just 14 minutes. Basically the hardest part is getting to the store to buy the mix-ins. Or maybe choosing which combination of mix-ins to make first.

Another plus with this formula is that it makes a small batch, so we’ll get to try different flavor combos more often.

The bulk bins at Winco are a gold mine for homemade granola, except for the dried fruit. The blueberries, cherries, and cranberries all had added sugar, so I’ll be sticking with raisins as my dried fruit mix-in for future flavors. But fresh or frozen fruits with no added sugars are an option.

This granola is GOOD. In addition to being delicious (not too sweet but definitely not bland and tasteless), the texture is wonderful. I have trouble with hard, tough, chewy textures, and store bought granola is typically one or all of these things. But this version is light and much easier to chew.

Honey Almond Granola with Sunflower Seeds and Flax

Adapted from Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ c sliced almonds
  • ¼ c raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp honey (could reduce to 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 large pinch fine sea salt
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries to top (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Measure the ingredients into a large bowl (except for the blueberries) and mix together. I used my hands to feel that everything was thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and pat into a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden.
  4. Cool and place in a container.