With all MAV’s (awesome) talk about cereal, I thought I’d share how we do cereal in our house—homemade granola.

The big jar of granola is something you’ll almost always find on our countertop. I make a batch just about every week. I eat it on top of yogurt with fresh (when in season) or dried fruit. My kids’ favorite way of eating granola is simply by the handful, but they’ll sit down to a bowl with milk too.

Some of you may remember that I shared a recipe for granola a few years back, but I’ve since made some changes to how I make granola. I was browsing through Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything one day when I noticed his granola recipe didn’t include any oil. Since Mr. Bittman knows, well, everything, I thought I’d give his recipe a try. The result was crunchier, toastier and kept better over the course of the week. With a few more adaptions, I had our stand-by family granola.

Stand-by Family Granola
inspired by/adapted from Crunchy Granola in How to Cook Everything

This recipe is super loosey-goosey with lots of options. You’re making granola, people, so embrace your inner hippy and just go with the flow. Also, it makes a lot. It’s easy to halve it.

6 cups rolled oats
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds (That batch above has sliced almonds and hazelnuts. Sesame seeds are great. I usually throw in some ground flax too.)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (Coconut hater? Leave it out. We love it at our house)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (You could also use ground ginger, or a combination of the two)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup brown rice syrup (I’ve also used maple syrup or honey—we like the rice syrup best. You could also omit the sugar and use one full cup of the unrefined stuff.)
Dash Kosher salt (I use a couple dashes, but I like salty with my sweet)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Place a baking pan (at least 9 x13—I actually use our big roasting pan) over medium heat on the stove top. Add the oats and toast, stirring for a few minutes. Add the coconut, nuts and seeds and spices and continue to toast for a few minutes more until everything begins to brown and become fragrant.

Warm the brown sugar and rice syrup in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Pour over oats mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes (it depends on the size of the granola batch and the size of the pan). Check every 5-10 minutes or so and give it a good stir. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight jar.