Crispy Homemade Granola Cereal

Once you try this crispy homemade crispy granola cereal, you wont go back to store-bought. 
Have you seen the prices of cereal in the grocery store lately? They have gone up a lot!!!! It isn't only cereal, but the price of just about every food item has skyrocketed. Like other families, we are trying to save everywhere we can. Which means buying less and being more frugal when it comes to groceries and meals. 

We are fortunate to have a big garden and a small fruit orchard, so we grow a lot of our own fruits, vegetables and herbs. I also can and preserve everything we grow, so it helps. We buy meat in bulk when it's on sale and stock our freezers. I also bake our own bread, make homemade convenience food mixes, natural citrus and herb cleaners and use a new natural homemade laundry detergent (recipe coming soon). It can all be a lot of work, but it has helped me win the battle against inflation. 

Since cereal is so expensive, I only purchase a box or two of our family's favorite and then I make my own granola cereal. I don't know why I didn't think about making homemade cereal before. I have been making homemade granola for years, but I never thought about turning it into a cereal until now. 

Over the summer, one of my favorite homesteaders, Ruth Ann Zimmerman shared a recipe for crispy granola cereal. I made it the very next day and my family loved it!!! As soon as the cereal jar gets empty, I bake a new batch to fill it back up. What I love most about this cereal is that it's simple to make, has a nice crunch and I can control what goes into it. Not to mention it's healthier, less expensive and you get way more than if you bought a store brand. 

To make this granola cereal, I use old-fashioned oats, crispy rice or brown rice cereal, wheat germ and nuts. I combine a healthy fat with a sweetener of my choosing (honey, coconut sugar or brown cane sugar) along with vanilla, a bit of salt and cinnamon (optional), and that's it!!    

You can eat it with cold milk like a cereal (my favorite), use it as a topping for yogurt or you can enjoy it as a snack. This granola cereal stores beautifully in a glass mason jar stored in your cereal cupboard for weeks (if it lasts that long). 

I like bigger granola clusters, so to achieve this, I do the following: 

  • Make sure to line your pan with parchment paper so the granola cereal sticks to the paper and not the pan. 
  • The key to crunchy granola is equal parts of a healthy fat to sweetener.
  • After adding the granola cereal to the baking pan and giving it a stir halfway through the baking time, you want to lightly press the granola cereal down with the back of a spatula (make sure there are no gaps) and then continue baking until the time is complete. 
  • Don't over bake. You just want to bake the granola until it's lightly brown (it will continue to cook as it cools). 
  • Let the granola cereal cool completely before breaking it apart into clusters and adding to a jar. 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a small pan mix, coconut oil, honey, coconut sugar or brown cane sugar and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla and cinnamon (if using).

In a large bowl combine the cereal, oatmeal, nuts, wheat germ and salt.

Add the oil mixture to oats and cereal and stir until everything is well coated.

Spread the cereal mixture onto 2 -large baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through. Press the granola down with the back of a spatula and continue baking until lightly brown (watch closely so it doesn't burn). 

Remove from oven and let cool completely (this is what gives you bigger clusters) and then break into pieces.

Enjoy as cereal with cold milk, on top of yogurt or as a snack. If you would like to add dried fruit make sure to add it after baking and when the granola is completely cool.    

Store granola in an air-tight container or large glass mason jar. Cereal will last 3-4 weeks.  


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