In a relatively short period of time we moved from a favorite granola recipe to experimenting with new ones, to making a startling, counter intuitive discovery that changed everything.
A new granola recipe replaced the others we’ve used in the past because it’s so easy.
We got this from a newsletter from the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Center, the region’s Native Health Service. It serves the health needs of all races in small communities like ours.
No Sugar Granola
3 Cups whole oats
1 Cup wheat germ
1 Cup milk powder
1/2 Cup raisins
1/4 Cup sunflower seeds
1/4 Cup flax seeds
2-3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 Cup orange juice concentrate
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Spread out on a greased baking pan
- Dry in oven at 200° until you like the consistency.
I used apple juice concentrate instead of orange juice, because that’s what was available at the time. A 12 oz pop-top can of juice is a bit shy of the amount called for, but that wasn’t a problem. I also heated the oven a bit higher, to lessen drying time. In the summer, I would try solar drying it, removing non-renewable energy from the equation.
This recipe is so dead simple, I now prefer it to the others I’ve offered.
I didn’t make it for long, however.
Shortly after trying it, we computed the cost of making our own granola versus purchasing a similar cereal from a bulk whole foods supplier. It’s actually cheaper to buy the ready made cereal and have it shipped here than it is to buy the ingredients (many of which must also be shipped here from that same supplier). Factor in fuel and my time, and the scale tips toward “store bought” being the more frugal choice! Hard to believe, but true. We are due for a re-evaluation, though. As prices fluctuate, it literally pays to weigh the alternatives periodically to make sure the most frugal choice remains so. It’s entirely possible that we will switch between making our own and buying repeatedly over the years to keep us in cereal for the lowest cost.
It just goes to show that this lifestyle requires considering all the angles, re-evaluating occasionally, and making the best choice. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.