This fiber-filled, highly adaptable cereal can be a real game changer when it comes to your meal prep dilemmas. Don't believe it? Keep reading.
To those of you who have not been let in on this secret yet...the only granola that you should be eating is the batches and batches that you are making at home. Sure, there’s a handful of delicious varieties that you can purchase at your local grocery store, but by going that extra mile and making it yourself, you not only save money, but you also know exactly what’s going into your granola. Not to mention, you also have the option to customize it exactly to your tastes and preferences. Your store-bought granola wishes it could do even half of that.
What’s so great about having a tupperware of this stuff anyway, you ask? I mean, just how much yogurt can one person eat in a week to warrant making an entire batch of granola, right? WRONG. It is such a classic, fatal mistake to box granola in (puns, man) as solely a garnish for a bowl of yogurt. The great thing about this crunchy snack, and something you can truly take advantage of if you’re making it for yourself at home, is that it is such a versatile pantry concoction.
On top of the obvious yogurt or ice cream situations, granola is an easy way to doll up a bundle of summer fruit that you’re ready to get rid of. Simply toss your fruit (after you’ve sliced it, if we’re talking stone fruit) with a thickener (like cornstarch or tapioca flour) and a little sugar (if it needs it), and toss them into individual ramekins or a casserole dish. Pulse your granola with some butter and sugar, scatter this crumbly mixture on top of the fruit, then bake those suckers until your fruit is bubbly. Voilà, you just made a crisp. Amp up your next batch of cookies or cupcakes by stirring granola into the batter. If you’re making a batch of muffins, generously top them with your homemade granola. Smoothies or a warm bowl of oatmeal can always use a generous handful, too. You can even knead it into homemade bread. Go ahead and enjoy it in it’s simplest form—simply eat it like the cereal that it is in a big bowl of milk (go for a nut milk if you’re feeling extra...nutty).
The best (and most underrated IMO) part about ditching the store-bought, way-too-sweet varieties and taking matters into your own hands is that you can control the destiny of your granola. This way, you can always add dried fruit, chocolate, toasted coconut, or any of the ~more exotic~ works when you’re feeling fancy. And by opting for a neutral, basic granola recipe that isn’t jam packed with all the sweeteners, you can use your final product for savory dishes. Whether you decide to toss it on a salad or pulse it into crumbs and bread chicken with it, you’ll be surprised by how crunchy and satisfying this simple addition can be. Now go forth and get to your granola—and please, keep an eye on it when it’s in the oven. This stuff can go from golden brown to burnt to a crisp in a matter of minutes, and we’d hate to see it happen to your introductory batch.