Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Home made granola

I'm for making granola at home. Really. I know that you can buy it ready made at a nearby store. And I'm not one of those people who easily get to making something at home in such a case either. I made it for curiosity. It took some 10 minutes for mixing, went into the oven and 10 minutes later the whole house was filled with magic sweet and spicy aroma. Now even my little bro turned to having healthy breakfast while all the ready made packs keep resting forgotten on our kitchen shelves.

There are thousand of recipes for granola out there which seems completely right. Different people prefer different seeds and nuts, different spices, different dried berries and candied fruits, more or less oatmeal, more or less crisp. As soon as you start making it you start tweaking it here and there and sooner or later you end up with an own recipe. So I thought why not share mine as well. The more good starting recipes the better. My first inspiration came from Nigella's recipe.

You do not necessarily have to have it with milk or yogurt (though both options are great). It is absolutely beautiful on it's own, dry and crunchy with a cup of good tea. Another nice opiton is to have it over apple puree, fruit compote or mix it with orange juice. Similarly, I do not limit it to breakfast. It's easily transportable to work (simply in a plalstic bag) and it is really good at calming hunger down, so it saves me as a snack between lunch and dinner or late at night.

Since we started making it we keep switching between granola and chewy oatmeal cookies every week. Both are great and there is no way to choose between them once and for all. As I said, it will take you 10 minutes of mixing and 40 minutes of baking. You will have to stir it every 10 minutes to help it crisp up evenly and prevent it from burning. And you can't even imagine what kind of aroma it will fill your house with.

Home made granola

makes 2.5 liters (might seem like a lot, but you will be surprised by how fast it disappears)

60 g apple sauce
1 table spoon sunflower oil
40 g honey
½ tea spoon Maldon salt
150 g rolled oats
30 g sunflower seeds
30 g pumpkin seeds
30 g light brown sugar
1 tea spoon ground cinnamon
½ tea spoon ground ginger
60 g walnuts

60 g raisins
60 g dry cherries

In a small bowl mix together the applesauce, oil, honey and salt.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, sugar and spices. Add the liquid ingredients and give it a good stir. The dry ingredients should get evenly coated. It will take some 3-5 minutes. Do not add raisins and cherries at this stage (they should be added after baking as they easily burn in the oven).

Spread the granola evenly on a baking tray covered with foil. Do not press it down, it is better to keep it as airy as possible. Bake at 170C for around 40 minutes. Take it out every 10 minutes and give it a good stir to make sure it crisps up evenly and doesn't burn.

When it's ready (it should be evenly golden) take it out of the oven. Add the raisins and cherries, mix well and let cool to room temperature. It should be stored airtight (it keeps it crisp). We use glass or plastic jars. That is it really.

Related posts:

Chewy oatmeal cookies (vegan version)
Crispy oatmeal cookies (vegan version)
Oatmeal love and hate
Apple and walnut muffins (vegan version)
Pumpkin and walnut muffins (vegan version)

London food: a personal guide

Nigella's granola