Sunday, July 18, 2010

Recipe: Homemade Granola

Mmmmm... granola. What better snack food to bring along for a road trip? It's so easy to make & customize to what you like & have on hand. Think you don't like granola? Making it yourself means you can controls the ingredients & flavour - give it a shot!

Homemade Granola

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
2 - 4 cups nuts, whatever you like - peanuts, almonds, cashews, or just go with a nut mix
3/4 cup seeds - I went equal parts sesame, flax & sunflower
1/2 cup coconut
2 tbsp vegetable oil (not olive - I used peanut oil)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
up to 1 cup dried fruit - apricot, craisins, mango, banana, etc

Methods:

1. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. Mix together the nuts & oatmeal.
Stir in the seeds & coconut.

3. Measure the oil into the measuring cup you'll use for the honey. Swirl the oil around the sides so that the sticky honey will flow out easily.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry (not including the dried fruit) until everything is well coated.
Spread into the largest baking dish you have.
A cookie sheet with a substantial lip would work too. I used my largest glass pan. I've found that I don't need to grease it before hand (the oil in the mixture helps), but if your pan tends to stick, use a bit of oil to be safe.

5. Cook in 10 minute interval, stirring in between. Bake for around 35-45 minutes, depending how thick the layer of granola is in your pan. You want it to have a nice golden colour & start to lose its stickiness.
Don't worry if it still looks wet & sticky when you take it out - this will set a bit while cooling.

6. Meanwhile, chop up the dried fruit so they're all around the same size as the raisins.
Stir the raisins & dried fruit directly into the pan (if you don't think it'll fit, transfer it back to a large bowl). Don't wait for the mixture to cool, otherwise the dried fruit won't incorporate itself into the granola as nicely. You can stir it a few times as it cools to prevent it from clumping too much. The more you stir, the more broken up it will be.
Enjoy! Granola is great as a snack just like that, but it's also tasty sprinkled onto yogurt, ice cream, cereal or a bowl of fresh berries & milk.

Variations:
  • Go nuts! Literally - feel free to increase the amount of nuts & use whatever you like. Just make sure they aren't salted. I went with pecans, hazelnuts (filberts) & peanuts this time because that's what was in my cupboard. I definitely would have included almonds - but those had already disappeared by the time I set out to make my granola.
  • Seeds: flax, sesame & sunflower are only suggestions - why not try pumpkin?
  • Wheatgerm is a nice addition to granola.
  • Toasting your seeds, nuts & wheatgerm adds a nice flavour to the granola.
  • If honey isn't your flavour of choice, try corn syrup or maple syrup (my favourite).
Already make your own granola? Let me know how your recipe differs from mine - I'm always up to trying variations!

2 comments:

Mattos said...

yum, I am going to make this
minus the coconut, don't like it
I wonder what a good substitute would be, hmmmm maybe white chocolate chips :)

Terri said...

Yum! I love granola and really need to start making my own. Your recipe sounds wonderful!