Oats cost 50 cents a pound in bulk or on sale. Granola costs at least $2 a pound on sale, maybe $6 a pound for a name brand at full price. We’ll add a little bit of a few expensive ingredients like honey and oil, plus nuts or dried fruit if you want them.
In a big roaster pan heat your wet ingredients until warm and thinned in a 250 degree oven:
1/2 cup water, 1 cup oil or butter, 1 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract.
While wet ingredients are warming, measure out dry ingredients:
8 cups old-fashioned oats
soy flour, soy grits
whole wheat flour
wheat germ, wheat bran, oat bran
rolled wheat flakes
sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or chia seeds
non-fat dry milk powder
unsalted nuts of your choice
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Add dry ingredients to wet ones in the roaster pan. Tastes like oatmeal cookie dough as it warms and snitching a little each time you stir is a treat. Stir well and bake for 2 hours stirring every 20 minutes. You’re toasting and drying it out slowly. If you want to speed things up heat at 325 splitting the batch into several shallow baking pans (jelly roll or 9×13). Turn with pancake turner every 10 minutes. Watch carefully and do not overbake. It will become more crisp as it cools.
When the cereal is cool add up to 2 cups of dried fruit. Store in jars, bags or plastic storage containers.
Why my batch was really cheap:
I got the nuts free when I picked up the donated items from Whole Foods for the food pantry. We volunteers get to glean a little when we work. I got the oats from my co-op and I got the honey using my Costco annual rebate.