This is my standard, tried-and-true low fat granola recipe, which I’ve used for years. I no longer remember the original source, but I’ve made enough changes to it that I can probably call it my own now.
As you can see, this granola takes a lot of ingredients. Some, like the steel cut oats, are ones I added, and are therefore expendable. My rule of thumb is to work with what I have; anything that’s missing or unwanted can be replaced with additional rolled oats.
I found that roasting the steel cut oats in the oven made them easier to eat, and doing so while preheating the oven seemed like a good frugal measure—I hate using propane or wood to preheat the oven with no other benefit.
The most significant change I’ve made to the original recipe is to reduce the sweeteners. We have been taught by the U.S. food industry to expect our sweet foods and drinks to be super-sweetened. They’ve created that need in us by adding high fructose corn syrup to almost every commercially available product. They primarily do this to create a market for excess corn, and the result has been disastrous for the nation’s health. As much as we love sweets, here on the “homestead” we try to reduce the level of sweetness in the foods and drinks we make.
This makes a medium-sweet cereal. I’ve slowly cut down the amount of brown sugar, as it seems to have no added value, such as helping stick the grains together. The apple juice concentrate is probably the most expensive and hardest ingredient to come by, so that seems a good candidate for skimping as well. I have used orange juice concentrate instead. It’s not bad.
Mark’s Low Fat Granola
8 c rolled oats
2 c bran (oat or wheat)
2 c steel cut oats
1 c sesame seeds
½ c sunflower seeds
½ c flax seeds
½ c brown sugar
2/3 c apple juice concentrate
2/3 c honey
1 c dry milk
1 T cinnamon
1 scant tsp salt
raisins to taste
Spread steel cut oats on cookie sheet and place in oven. Preheat oven to 375º, allowing steel cut oats to roast until you’re ready for them.
Mix juice, honey, sugar and dry milk in saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add cinnamon and salt. You can also add seeds and steel cut oats once this mixture is heated.
Combine any remaining dry ingredients. Pour wet mixture slowly into dry. Blend well.
Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375º for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If you use 2 cookie sheets, rotate them in the oven stirring each to bake evenly.
Let cool. Note that mixture will continue to bake and dry a bit as the pans cool. Add raisins and store in airtight container.
You may have noticed that this cereal is packed with dietary fiber, as well as whole grains. It is, as Garrison Keillor says, tasty and expeditious!