Make or Buy? Granola

Granola: beloved companion to yogurt, snack time superstar, and airplane carry-on staple. We do love you so. Do you make your own? Or do you have a favorite brand that you buy?

For today's match-up, let's take a look at Bear Naked's Fruit & Nut Granola alongside our recipe for Peanut Butter and Honey Granola. All costs were taken from Peapod Online Grocery unless otherwise noted.

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola
Bear Naked's Fruit & Nut Granola from Peapod Online Grocery

COST BREAKDOWN

Bear Naked's Fruit & Nut Granola
TOTAL: $4.99
PER 1/4 CUP: $0.45

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola
Makes 8 cups

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats: $1.84
2 cups shelled roasted peanuts: $3.50
1 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds (Sourced from Amazon.com): $3.93
1 cup wheat germ (Sourced from Amazon.com): $0.64
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt: $0.01
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon: $0.12
1 teaspoon ground ginger: $1.04
1/2 cup honey: $2.00
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar: $0.29
1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky: $1.35
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla: $0.55
2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil: $2.04
3/4 cup chopped dried dates: $1.79

TOTAL: $19.10
PER 1/4 CUP: $0.59

The grocery store spices and nuts add significant cost to this homemade granola. I feel that this could definitely be reduced by buying these ingredients from bulk bins, bringing the cost of homemade granola closer to the cost of store-bought.

CONVENIENCE

I'm always surprised at how easy it is to make granola. Just dump all the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix in the wet ingredients, and bake until toasty. In this recipe, the "wet ingredients" involves melting the honey and brown sugar on the stove top, but that doesn't add more than a few minutes of work.

The two biggest factors when making granola at home are having all the ingredients on-hand and then planning to be around the house while the granola is baking. Like making granola bars, just taking the time to stock your pantry with the basic raw ingredients will make whipping up a batch much easier and more convenient.

TASTINESS AND HEALTHFULNESS

Store-bought and homemade come out pretty even in this category. As long as you stick to products, like Bear Naked, that are on the natural "health food" end of the grocery store spectrum, you can be pretty sure of healthy and wholesome ingredients. In fact, the ingredient list for the Bear Naked granola is very nearly the same as the ingredient list for our homemade granola. Both are pretty tasty too!

MAKE OR BUY?

This is one of those products where if you enjoy making it, go for it. But if you'd rather spend your kitchen time doing other things, there are plenty of great store-bought (and farmer's market-bought!) options out there.

VERDICT: Split vote!

What do you think?

Related: Watch Out! Dangerously Addictive Olive Oil Granola

(Images: Peapod and Faith Durand)