Foodie Files

Ben Whelan

Cereal is an essential on any grocery list, but most commercial cereals are overpriced, most of the box is air, and they are absolutely loaded with sugar. The ones that are “healthy” taste like cardboard and usually have plenty of vitamins, but very little sustenance. Who wants to eat flakes anyways? They’re thin and collapse in an eyedropper of milk.

The solution to this breakfast quandary, as is usually the case when brand names just ain’t getting it done, is to do it yourself. Most people think that cereal is just one of those things that has to be mass produced, but with this simple recipe for granola, you can turn your home kitchen into a cereal factory with a product better than anything coming out of Battle Creek.

Granola can mean a lot of different things, but it is usually a combination of nuts, oats, and often dried fruit that is sweetened and baked until it becomes crispy and crunchy. Originally developed at a health spa in the late 19th century by Dr. James Caleb Jackson, granola was eventually revived in the 1960’s and became associated with the hippie movement. Due to its high nutritional value and dense concentration, granola has long been a favorite of hikers and outdoorsman and makes a fantastic snack to have on hand when the munchies strike. Another advantage that it has over commercial cereals is that it packs a protein punch that will keep you going strong all day.

Toasted Honey Nut Granola

5 cups flat rolled oats

1 cup each:

shredded coconut, sweetened

shredded almonds

raw whole almonds

raw peanuts, peeled

raw sunflower seeds

dried cranberries

1/2 cup oil (canola or


3/4 cup honey

The first step is to dry toast your nuts, which really brings out their flavor and makes them a little crunchier. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet as evenly as you can and then roast them at 400° for 7-10 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Immediately remove them from the oven and leave them to cool. When your nuts have cooled (stop giggling), combine them along with the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, and cranberries in a large roasting pan. Drizzle the honey and oil over them and mix, mix, mix until the mixture is well blended. If you don’t mix it enough, then the oil wont distribute evenly and the granola is likely to burn.

To finish, bake for 2½ to 3 hours at 275° stirring every half of an hour or so to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. Let it cool, and you have about a months worth of good, nutritious snack food. Throw some milk on it, and you have a healthy, hearty breakfast to start the day. As always, let me know how it goes and don’t forget to respect your food.