Store-bought granola is pricey and you can’t control what’s in it. When you make your own you can make it to suit your own tastes and budget. Ingredients like pumpkin seeds and pecans are pretty pricey, but I have found sunflower seeds (far cheaper) taste almost as good. Next year maybe we’ll harvest enough butternuts to use in a few granola batches, or at least I hope so!
I’ve tried making granola in the oven. Invariably it either comes out all burned or half burned and half raw. I’ve never been able to nail down the right oven temperature and length of time I suppose. I’d pretty much given up on homemade granola until I recently came across a slow-cooker granola recipe. I was so skeptical but it makes perfect granola every time! Just the right amount of crispiness that I could just never get right making it in the oven. Using the slow cooker also means I don’t have to use my oven in the summer just to make granola.
Here’s the recipe I have been using:
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans)
1/2 cup seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sweetener (honey, agave nectar, maple syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more to taste)
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, pineapple, apple)
Start by spraying or oiling your slow cooker inside so you don’t have problems with sticking. Combine all ingredients except the dried fruit right in the slow cooker. Set to high setting but leave the lid slightly askew for venting. Cook for about 90 minutes. Stir after 30 minutes, then stir every 20 minutes thereafter. Add your dried fruit and then cook on low for about 30 minutes more, stirring a couple of times. Your cooking time may vary based on how powerful your slow cooker is. You may also have to stir more or use the lower setting throughout if your cooker runs hot.
The smell of your granola baking is going to make you anxious to try some! It fills the house with deliciousness. I hope you try some tasty homemade granola in your slow cooker and let me know how it comes out.