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A few months ago, I noticed this neat product called “Renola” at the Commissary. It’s granola without any oats or other grains, and it only has 5-7 grams of sugar per serving, depending on the flavor. That’s pretty exciting to me!
Whatever cereal I have in the morning, I just pour a little in my bowl and then add Renola until I’m happy.
The problem is, the stuff is really expensive here in Hawaii.
That’s why I set out to make my own grain/oat free granola and see how the price and taste compare to what I’ve been buying.
Okay, so, if you want to save money making your own granola, you might not want to just rush out to you Whole Foods or similar type store and stock up on ingredients.
Take a minute to comparison shop and see what you can find. For example, cacao nibs were $24/pound at the local Whole Foods (in the bulk section where you can get as much or little as you’d like), but there are several choices on Amazon Prime that cost far less (at the time of writing).
Cacao nibs are the most expensive ingredient, but you really don’t need many of them. I recommend only 1/4 cup, unless you’re a huge enthusiast. Let’s pretend it’s the SAT. Chomping a handful of cacao nibs : eating a candy bar :: Eating a handful of dark coffee beans : drinking a latte. They’re good for you and they do taste like chocolate, but they tend to be pretty bitter. A little goes a long way. =)
Look at all those tasty things! They are delicious, but unless you have a super food processor, you probably want to pre-chop the nuts, especially almonds. Otherwise you may end up with whole almonds in your granola!
Other than a little bit of chopping, this recipe is mostly measuring and a little bit of time in the oven. Nothing complicated here! Before we get cooking, though, I have to plug my favorite baking sheet. I use the Cooks Illustrated recommended pan and love it.
Inexpensive, flimsy baking sheets warp in the oven and can send your granola flying! This baking sheet doesn’t budge at 350º. There really is no substitute for high-quality cookware: it can make our break your recipe. Okay, now that I’ve shared my thoughts on bakeware, are you ready to make some granola?
Speaking of yogurt – I’ve made my own yogurt before and I keep seeing almond yogurt in the store for about $2 per serving. I like almond yogurt, but I’m not willing to pay that much for it! Plus, as with pretty much everything else, the amount of added sugar is appalling. Does anyone have experience making their own non-dairy yogurt? Is it more difficult than dairy yogurt, or does it work exactly the same way?