There are very few breakfast foods I love more in this world than the blueberry muffin.
Whether it’s fresh out of the oven or one of those generic ones you get in plastic wrap at the corner store, there’s just something about a blueberry muffin that is so satisfying. Not a chocolate muffin, not a poppyseed muffin, and definitely not a CORN muffin (Pointless. WHY? Just eat some cornbread). I don’t know if it’s the buttery flavor, the sweet blueberries, or the temporary carb-induced euphoria, but whatever it is, I loooove it.
But, blueberry muffins and I have a rocky history. To this day, I blame blueberry muffins for my 30-lb. weight gain freshman year of college, because I ate one roughly every other morning for breakfast. Yikes. I guess practicing until 4 AM on the reg didn’t help either, but hey, you live and learn.
After blueberry muffins and I drifted apart, my carby attentions shifted to granola. Granola is great as a crunchy topping for yogurt and smoothies, or eaten right out of the palm while running out the door. Unfortunately, granola can also be a scary thing. Lots of store-bought granolas will present themselves as a “health food” when they’re actually kind of the opposite. They might contain healthy ingredients (oats, nuts, seeds, etc.), buuut that kind of gets negated when you add the artificial stuff. And so, I started making my own granola.
Baking granola is SO easy, and so simple to customize. For DIY granola, I follow this rough guide:
- 4 cups dry ingredients (grains, seeds, nuts, coconut, etc. If using nuts, use about 1 cup + 3 cups grains)
- salt (about 1/2 tsp)
- spices (optional)
- 1/3-1/2 cup natural sweetener (honey & pure maple syrup are my go-tos)
- 1/4 cup fat (oil, nut butter, butter, etc.)
- 1 to 2 tsp. extract (vanilla, almond, etc.)
- egg whites (this is important if you like crackly granola that holds together in clumps)
- dried or freeze-dried fruit (optional, after baking)
Bake at 300˚F for about 45 mins in a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Flip in large shards about 30 mins in to let the other side brown for the remaining 10-15 minutes. Let the pieces cool and dry out before breaking them up with your hands or a spatula. Mix in dried fruit after baking.
I have made SO many different flavors of granola with this method, and I absolutely swear by it. It always turns out delicious as heck, and this blueberry muffin version is no exception. For the first time in this recipe, I used actual cereal in my granola in addition to oats. The crackly crunch is INSANE, I tell you. INSANE! I also used butter for the first time instead of oil, on purpose. Wasn’t sure how that would hold up to science, but it actually worked perfectly. It also made the granola taste exactly like a blueberry muffin (which was the goal)!! Mission accomplished. No complaints here. Coconut oil would work just as well – can’t vouch for that “muffin” flavor, but the texture would end up similar.
DIY recipes in general always win with me, because I’m a big fan of knowing exactly what I’m eating. Plus, I think it’s more enjoyable to reap the benefits of your own efforts in the kitchen. And with granola especially, not only do you get a delicious treat, but it makes your whole home smell like deliciousness. FOR HOURS. So obviously, when I found out the Recipe Redux theme for this month was “DIY Kitchen Tips,” I was a woman with a plan.
Granola that tastes exactly like a freshly baked blueberry muffin!
- 2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 2 cups organic corn flake cereal
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup melted butter (~5 tbs. unmelted)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (5 large) egg whites
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Preheat oven to 300˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, and salt. Add melted butter, then stir to coat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Pour egg white mixture into cereal mixture and stir well to combine.
- Pour granola mixture into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pat down into an even layer.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, flipping the granola in large pieces 25-30 minutes in to brown it on the other side.
- Remove from oven, let cool, and break into chunks.
- Mix in dried fruit, and store in an airtight container.
For other great DIY kitchen tips, definitely go check out the other great posts from the members of Recipe Redux!