As long as I've been buying groceries for myself, I've never included cereal on that weekly list. Sure, I love the way it tastes. It's delicious, sweet, crunchy — a perfect snack. And that's precisely why I don't buy it. I will eat up all those empty calories for breakfast, and be hungry for lunch at approximately 9:15 a.m.
Granola is a different story, though, and we've been baking a homemade batch almost weekly this month to great success.
If you've never made granola at home before, prepare to be stupefied at its simplicity. After making it the first time as stocking stuffers years ago, my jaw dropped thinking of all the times I justified spending nearly double-digit prices on very delicious, fancy granola at the market.
Aside from the cost and ease factors, making your own allows for a little bit of personalization. Chez Kate's granola, for example, contains far more nuts than most. Pecans, pepitas, and almonds cling to bits of oats and shredded coconut. Crisp it up however you'd like — we prefer it to be a little toastier than the average person. Also, there are varying opinions on dried fruit in the house, so chopped up dried apricots and cranberries get added at the end. Lately, we've made a slight switch to almond milk, which I find adds to the granola perfectly with its nuttiness, light sweetness, and creamy texture.
Somehow, granola inexplicably fills me up better than any cold cereal. The fullness factor is more along the lines of oatmeal, even when I eat just a half dozen bites on my way out the door. Perhaps it's all the nuts we've been adding in? In any case, it's a pretty great weekday breakfast, made possible by only a few minutes of our weekend time in baking, and likely one we'll continue throughout the new year.