Wednesday, October 12, 2011

{31 Days} Cooking Breakfast from Scratch: No more cereal

Cereal can be a quick in-a-pinch breakfast.  It was mine for years.  I loved a great bowl of cereal for breakfast. 

Having a nut allergy, however, makes enjoying healthy cereals challenging.  So, out went the cereal from our house.  We’ve replaced our morning staple with homemade granola. 

We make a batch of granola every week.  Seriously.  Just the two of us go through 6-7 C of granola in 7 days or less. 

Not only does it make a yummy “bowl of cereal” topped with fresh blueberries, or a handful of dried fruit (we love dried cherries), but we enjoy it on top of yogurt, and stirred in warm applesauce.  Yum. 

Oh, and sometimes, if we are out of milk, we will toss it over ice cream {or frozen yogurt} – for breakfast.  Shhhh…. that’s our little secret.  My dad taught me that one!

Why Granola?

Granola is completely customizable.  Toss in what you like, pass on what you don’t.  Adding various dried fruits and nuts/seeds, if you are able, increases the vitamins & minerals you start your day with. 

The basic ingredients in granola, oats, are a wonderful grain. 

The oat is a cereal grain, has been linked to decreasing LDL cholesterol – always a good thing.  In addition, oats are high in fiber, have a solid amount of lipids (the highest of the cereal crops) and are the only cereal crop that has a particular type of protein – and is similar to the level of protein found in soy. 

Toss in a sweetener, some fruit and or veggie and you have a great “cereal” to have on hand for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. 

3 Tips for Making Granola

(1) After baking granola, turn off the oven and leave the granola in the oven as it cools down.  This really crisps up the granola nicely!  Check in on it occasionally to make sure that it’s not getting so hard you’ll crack your teeth on the granola, though. 

(2) Make your granola absent of any “add-ins”.  This makes the batch much more versatile.  Just add dried cherries, apples, or craisins to your bowl before serving to create a different “flavor” every day. 

(3) Find a good base recipe that you like.  Then, alter it.  Try using applesauce in place of oil or butter, or apple juice in place of the sweetener.  Add honey, or molasses, for a change of pace.  Feel free to play around with the recipe once you’re confident in making it initially. 

Granola Recipes

Our go-to granola recipe is a brown sugar cinnamon granola.  It’s basic & we love it. 

We’ve tweaked that recipe to include brown rice krispies and honey in a delicious honey crunch granola {recipe below}.

Adding applesauce and dried apples makes a delicious apple granola, toss in some cranberries and you have apple cranberry granola

We do love dried cherries in this cherry granola too.  Perfect for yogurt. 

Looking for a fall-flavored granola – try this pumpkin spice version.  Oh my! 

Honey Oil Granola – Recipe from Finding Joy in My Kitchen


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ~4 C oats {Old Fashioned, preferred}
  • 1-2 C Brown Rice Krispies


Combine the olive oil, honey, water and cinnamon in a large sauce pan.  Heat until the mixture just boils. 

Stir in the oats and rice krispies. 

Spread the coated oat-krispie mixture out onto a large cookie sheet or into two 9x13 baking dishes. 

Bake at 350 for a total of 15 minutes, stirring every 5. 

Turn the oven off, and allow the granola to “harden” in the oven for 2-3 hours, or overnight.  Just be sure to stir the granola a couple of times during this process to make sure it’s not getting overly crunchy and to break apart the pieces. 

Have you tried making granola?  It takes just a few minutes, and is so nice to have on hand for breakfast!  Try it.  You’ll like it. 


  1. Yum! My boyfriend and I are also addicted to homemade granola. It's gone in a flash when I make a batch. I love giving it as a present too! I made one recently with only seeds, no nuts! I'll be posting about it on friday.

    I love your idea of making a "base" batch then doing add ins right before eating.



  2. I usually buy one or two boxes of cereal a month, to use on crazy mornings (like when we forget to do my daughters homework till the morning it's due lol). I can get a box of cereal at Aldi for $2. It's not the healthiest, but cheap and helps me out in a pinch. Otherwise we eat usually eat eggs and veggies for breakfast. I've made granola in the past, and it was really expensive to put together. Unfortunately, I can't fit it into my grocery budget at this time.

  3. @ Sara -

    Thanks for the comment!

    Do you have a membership to a Costoc/Sams/BJs? If so, buy oats there! I can get oats for 4 cents an ounce!

    Out of one package of oats from Costco, I can get more than 6 batches of granola. To make those 6 batches I use just 6 T of butter, and 6 C of brown sugar + 6 tsp. cinnamon (all of which I also buy in bulk).

    That's the equivalent of 36 C of cereal for around $7.0 -- roughly 20 cents a serving (1 C).

    How does that compare to cereal?

  4. Looks GREAT! I love that your recipe uses a little less oil than most. I have a nut allergy too, which makes it hard to find granola I can eat. Love the idea of eating it with applesauce!

  5. heartily enjoying the pumpkin spice granola I made tonight! Do you think you could use pumpkin puree also?

    I linked to you here:

  6. Hi Sno White,
    This is a great post! Your Granola looks awesome I love your Dad's tip. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Thankful to find your post. Will certainly be making this soon as I am hooked on it. I am allergic to walnuts and eggs so your recipes are very helpful and so good.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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