Not long after I began really working within our grocery budget and also being somewhat obsessed with delicious and relatively healthy food, I noticed that my food choices tended to lean toward the more basic ingredients that you would find on shelves of grandmothers everywhere. Oats, flour, nuts, fresh veggies, and so on made a regular appearance on our grocery list. The reasoning behind all of that was that if you can stock your kitchen with these basic ingredients, building blocks really, you can make the majority of those foods that you crave (and typically pay a small fortune for). So for years I have been known to make my own bread, ferment my own sauerkraut, can my own veggies, and whip up my own batch of lemonade simply because I didn’t want to (and didn’t have to) make another trip to the store.
I’m not saying that this happens all of the time, but we try to make our own as much as possible.
The same goes for granola.
This crunchy treat that has been a favorite of hikers, dieters and hippies for years can cost a mint in the store. Making your own is not only less expensive but it’s pretty easy to do as well. Homemade Cranberry Pecan Granola bars are great for on-the-go snacks and for crumbling on top of yogurt, fruit or ice cream. And the best part is that a batch of granola can last up to 3 weeks. Feel free to swap out the fruit and nuts for whatever is your favorite, you can even add a few chocolate chips if you want.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 t . apple pie spice
- Pinch of salt
- 7 oz sweetened condensed milk
- Pre heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl with a rubber spatula, combine all of the ingredients until well combined and everything is moistened. Spread into an even layer on the prepared sheet and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the granola is beginning to brown. Let cool and then break into pieces or cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.