New Food Challenge for Summer: Granola is fast, healthy, and delicious plus frugal when homemade.

During the winter I make hearty granola that fills our home with cinnamon and spice. When spring and summer bring Arizona heat, I want granola that is lighter and brighter.

I purchase new brands and flavors of granola often. Currently I’m enjoying Udi’s Gluten Free Original Granola, with Oats, Honey, Nuts, Banana Chips, Raisins, Love Grown Foods Oat Clusters Sweet Cranberry Pecan, and classic Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars Oats ‘N Honey.

There are endless granola recipes that can be easily adapted to the season and to dietary needs. Granola is notorious for being high in sugar and fat, but there are many that slash sugar and fat. We keep ours gluten, dairy, and egg-free.

One granola making trick I picked up is to roast the grains, seeds, and nuts before adding wet ingredients. Place on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until you can smell the roasting. This will depend on the amount of grain/seed/nut and oven. Check every few minutes and look for slight browning. While roasting, I put my wets (sweetener, oil, water, spices) in a big pot on the stove until bubbly. I add the roasted grains to the warm mixture then place all again on the cookie sheet and bake for a few more minutes.

The roasting takes care of two of my granola making problems. One, if I undercooked, my granola tasted “raw.” Two, if I overcooked to take care of the raw taste, I would burn the granola. Roasting makes the recipe so much more flexible and I like the added depth of flavor.

During winter and summer I make granola different flavors. For example, cool months looks like this:

  • Winter Oils: olive
  • Winter Dried Fruit: dried cranberries
  • Winter Nuts: pecan, walnut
  • Winter seeds: sunflower
  • Winter spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice
  • Winter sweetener: molasses, maple syrup, apple fruit juice

Warm months look like this:

  • Summer Oils: coconut, canola
  • Summer Dried Fruit: dried apricot
  • Summer Nuts: cashew, almond
  • Summer seeds: sesame
  • Summer spice: lemon, ginger, vanilla, fruit zest,
  • Summer sweetener: honey, agave syrup, citrus fruit juice

Do you eat granola? What is your favorite brand or flavor combination? How do you eat your granola? With milk, in a parfait, straight? Do you have a recipe or tips to share?

Warmly ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc

25 thoughts on “New Food Challenge for Summer: Granola is fast, healthy, and delicious plus frugal when homemade.

  1. I love granola, Angie McFly, but I have the added glucose challenge, which makes it appear more daunting. There does not seem to be a sugar-free or no-sugar-added variety out there. And as you say, the name brands are very expensive. MDW Karen buys store brands for herself and enjoys many flavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to eat granola, Angie. When I paid attention to the fat and sugar you mentioned, I figured I could just as well eat a donut for breakfast.☺ Love your summer ingredient list, though, I’ll bet the homemade is delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your winter and summer ingredients!! I usually avoid granola b/c it’s so high fat/calories but I love making no-bake energy balls (basically smushed granola) for the kids….they need fat and calories 🙂

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  4. I’m not a big fan of granola. I preferred wheat germ in my yogurt for a long time, but I’ve since moved to oats (less inflammatory). The sweet & salty bars are pretty good if I’m on the go, but I’d rather just have fruit and nuts.

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  5. I love granola too but I’ve taken to mixing some granola with much lower sugar and fat cereals (I usually eat with fruit salad and yogurt) and try and check for the ones with less sugar and fat but I’m still at the stage of trying the ones I see. I’m originally from Spain and must say is not that popular there and not many varieties, so I might give the handmade ones a try next time I’m there (I love nuts!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to connect, Olga, and thanks for stopping by. Excellent point about mixing dense granola with lighter grains. I just purchased a bag of puffed brown rice and have my eye out for puffed millet. I’ll use both to make protein bars…and mix with granola. I’m a huge nut fan, too, especially when they are roasting in my oven 😀 Have a great weekend!

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