My first of a number of granola recipes from my fellow food bloggers to find my family’s favorite.

I have an unwritten list of food-related “to dos” in my head. This year, making homemade granola for the first time was one of them. Others include starting a compost pile, canning something for the first time (possibly pickles from cucumbers I grow in my garden) and making homemade phyllo dough in the Whipped kitchen. Though he doesn’t know it (until he reads this), I have a few plans for Mr. Whipped too. I would like him to try grilling fish on a cedar plank and start making homemade sausage again.

Everyone in the Whipped household loves granola sprinkled on yogurt with fresh fruit. It’s as easy as a bowl of cereal but so much more satisfying. Our favorite store-bought brand is Bear Naked Banana Nut granola but it is expensive and when we buy a bag, it goes too fast. Making a weekly bin of granola, like Kickpleat of Everybody Loves Sandwiches and Poppytalk does, seemed like a good practice for our brood. Since Kickpleat inspired me, it made sense to start with her Everyday Granola.

My granola planning began with a trip to the bulk food bins at Wholefoods. I was eagerly anticipating the trip, fondly remembering how I used to love the process of shopping from bins of any kind. Finding the numbers and writing on the twist ties as well as unloading the bulk foods into containers at home appealed to the same part of me that loved playing “office” as a kid. Though I am a cluttered person, the process of organizing and sorting brings me pleasure.

About half way through my granola ingredient buying experience, I realized that my current life circumstances have changed my appreciation for bulk food buying. Always short on time, I found the hunting and searching for the right items, missing pens, buried scoops and broken twist ties stressful and aggravating. I don’t want to be one of those grumps that is always in a stressed rush but running a business, limited babysitter hours and the management of a household and two kids has its challenging realities.

Once home with my thin, overly large, rustling bags of seeds and grains, Mini Whipped and I set about untying twist ties and mixing up our first batch of granola. The preparation is very kid-friendly as it basically requires just mixing everything together. A large bowl, lots of ingredients and a wooden spoon make for a happy toddler with well-directed energy.

When Mini Whipped went to bed, I baked the granola, stirring occasionally as directed. After it cooled, I stored it in a few tupperware containers where it awaited our breakfast routine. The next morning, we filled our bowls with yogurt, topped it with a heap of our homemade granola and adorned our creation with fresh berries. Delicious. Satisfying. Our first batch of granola has lasted more than a week.

Next up? I heard Lottie + Doof’s granola is a standout. Then I might head over to Coconut and Lime for her Almond Cherry Coconut Granola.

Everyday Granola
from Everybody Loves Sandwiches
3 1/2 c organic large-flake rolled oats
1/2 c wheat germ
1/4 c flax seed
3 T ground flax seed
1 1/2 c dried shredded coconut
1 c walnuts, roughly chopped
1 c almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 c sunflower seeds
2 T cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
large pinch each of cardamom and nutmeg
1/2 t of kosher salt
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c apple sauce
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c honey
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325ºF. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. In another bowl, stir the oil, applesauce, brown sugar, honey and vanilla together until it emulsifies somewhat. Pour the wet over the dry ingredients and stir well so that everything gets evenly coated.

Spread mixture on a baking sheet or large glass baking pan and toast in a 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, checking on it and stirring it occasionally until mixture is dry. When cool, store in a tightly lidded container.