Granola

31 Oct

For my first post, I’m starting with granola. Not only is it the product that sparked this whole idea for me, it’s also kind of fitting – nothing represents DIY, back-to-nature, health-nut hippiness like good old crunchy granola.

So, today’s challenge: Box of Flavorite granola vs. homemade granola!

Boxed granola vs. homemade granola

Boxed granola vs. homemade granola

One box of granola contains: whole grain rolled oats, whole grain rolled wheat, brown sugar, raisins, coconut oil, almonds, whey, glycerin, nonfat dry milk, whey protein concentrate, honey, natural flavors, sunflower oil.

Homemade granola, following my cobbled-together-from-many-sources recipe, contains:

2 c. rolled oats

¼ c. brown sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ c. honey

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Splash of water

¾ c. raisins

½ c. slivered almonds

To make the granola, you mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix the wet ingredients in a different bowl, then combine the two. Then you flatten it all out on a baking sheet and slip it into the oven for 20-25 minutes (stirring once). When the granola’s all toasted and golden brown, you pull it out, let the it cool, then mix in the almonds and raisins. It keeps in the fridge for months.

Time and Cost Comparison:

The Box contains 12 oz. of granola. It cost $3.54 (or $0.29/oz.), and took very little time to select in the store.

Homemade produced 14 oz. of granola. It cost $3.74 (or $0.26/oz), and took 15 minutes of prep time plus 35 minutes of baking/cooling time in which I wandered from the kitchen.

Nutritional Information Comparison:

The Box has 220 calories, 8 grams fat, 33 grams carbs, 15 mg sodium and 4 grams protein.

Homemade has 250 calories, 10 grams fat, 40 grams carbs, 4 mg sodium and 5 grams protein.

Ingredient Comparison:

The major differences in ingredients are: rolled whole grain wheat, whey, glycerin, nonfat dry milk and whey protein concentrate. (Vanilla can be considered a natural flavor.)

Taste comparison:

Rob and I both preferred the taste of the homemade stuff. By a very large margin. In fact, post-photo, the homemade stuff went pretty fast, while the boxed stuff went back into the box.

Homemade PITA factor:

1.5. If you can measure and stir with a spoon and turn on the oven, you can make this.

DIY or Buy?

The round goes to DIY, but frankly, it was a photo-finish. They were pretty similar on price and the box contained no terrible or scary ingredients (although it does have chemical preservative glycerine). The big decider was flavor: Homemade just tasted better.

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