My daughter, Karen, was home schooled for several years. During that time, she developed a recipe for granola. It gave her an opportunity to use fractions and  multiplication, learn about volume and temperature, work with time and money as well as discuss nutrition and marketing. She designed a label and sold her granola at a local farmer’s market. She developed a customer base who still call her with orders from time to time. She finished a big order last night and it got me thinking about how important a good granola recipe could be in an emergency. Granola contains protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and is calorie dense. It’s portable and once cooked, can be eaten out of hand.

Granola is a flexible recipe. If you don’t  have one ingredient, you can generally substitute something else. The only trick is to be sure you don’t burn it. Granola for storage should be drier than the following recipe which is quite moist. That doesn’t matter around here as we can go through a batch a week without a problem. Cooking it longer at a lower temperature would result in a drier, longer keeping cereal.

Mix together in a large bowl:

4 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup walnuts, broken into pieces

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix this well and set aside. In a two cup measure mix together:

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup honey

Pour this over the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake it a 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Let it cool and add:

1 cup dried cranberries

If you want a drier, cruchier granola, dry it in a dehydrator for 3 hours at 145 degrees.

We like a little vanilla and cinnamon in our granola but Karen doesn’t add that to what she sells because both are really expensive to buy organic. As she sells under the label of Karen’s Organics In The Hilltowns, she can only use organic ingredients in what she sells.

Karen isn’t going to get rich selling granola but that really isn’t the point. Learning a real skill as well as learning the importance of following through with a comittmant and customer service is. As the economy continues to deteriorate, the kinds of jobs kids used to be able to count on may not be there. Developing a home based business can be a good option.

Short post today. Bruce is off to a bee conference and I am going to hit some resale shops when I take Karen to deliver her granola. I am looking for a couple of metal coffee pots to  use in melting beeswax. I hope to learn how to use our wax to make soaps and balms.