Going zero waste means pretty much going zero highly-processed snacks. My husband and I have both lost weight without trying since starting our zero waste journey about 6 months ago. It’s not like we were that unhealthy to start out, we ate lots of salad and beans, but I did love those Cheeze-its and wheat thins.
But sometimes, you need a snack! Buying snacks like yogurt covered pretzels from the bulk bin is one option, but they often aren’t that healthy and it can be expensive.
One great snacking solution? Granola!
Again, you can buy lots of different kinds of granola in the bulk bins, but even though they are usually less expensive than boxed granola, it is still more than I want to pay.
Fortunately, my mom’s tried and true granola recipe is easy to do and easy to remember:
- 7 cups dry ingredients (at least some of it should be oatmeal!)
- 2 cups wet ingredients (at least 2 tablespoons of this should be something sweet)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Mix all the ingredients together, spread out on a baking sheet, and bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, stopping 2-3 times to stir it and taste to see if it is as crispy as you like it. Mix in other stuff like dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, either before or after baking. Probably wait until after for the dried fruit so it doesn’t get too hard.
You can play around with what ingredients you like and how simple vs complex you want it and how healthy you want it to be.
Dry ingredient tips:
Generally more “small” particles like whole wheat flour will make granola form into clumps. I would say you always want at least 2 cups of rolled oats, or it might be more like a thick muffin batter. I have made it will 100% rolled and quick oats and it was yummy. I also use the leftover almond pulp from making almond milk.
Wet ingredient tips:
You could do all water with a little molasses to be super healthy. Or you could do 50/50 oil and honey to be decadent. Whatever you want is fine! The more oil you use, the more it will have a crispy crunch. I like to always use at least 2 tablespoons of oil. Even peanut butter can be used (count it as a little of the wet and a little of the dry). For extra clumpy or to be able to form it into granola bars, try putting a tablespoon of the water leftover from boiling garbanzo beans.
Tips for the bake:
The longer you bake it, the crispier it will be. Check it frequently the first time you try a specific dry/wet ingredient combo.
As far as things to mix in, there are fabulous choices in the bulk bins. Nuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, ect. Go crazy. Or don’t, lots of times we just eat it without any mix-ins.
It keeps for several weeks in a sealed container. If you want less, just half the recipe.
Organic oatmeal is the cheapest to get from the bulk bins at EarthFare or Whole foods (and grains are one place where organic really is better. No Round-Up in my granola, please).