Food

Homemade granola

4:26 PM

2013-01-31 16.10.28

Granola bars are one of these supermarket aisle essentials for fast paced people back home, and the ultimate sporty weekend energy supplement. In my family they weren’t really the breakfast staple until I was a typical teenager struggling to get out of bed on time in the morning and rushing to school on my bicycle hoping to make it to my class before the bell rang, but they were in our back pack when we went skiing and mountain hiking, two activities my family was really into came the weekend, both are high energy burning burning enough that we could use the high calories energy bars to keep us going.
In India they came quite recently, and I bought a box here and there, especially when travelling because it’s a convenient packaged food that is still a tad better than wolfing down a pack of chips, at least it has some fibre if nothing else, and it fits in a purse.
Now Granola is actually very easy to make, it’s oats baked with a form of unrefined natural sugar or another and some oil, you add up whatever nuts and fruits you want to it to vary the taste. I never thought of making my own until recently, first because I only really crave the thing in Winter, and then because it slipped my mind, until one of the blog I read regularly posted a recipe that brought back granola to my mind. That lady’s recipe involves maple syrup and pecan nuts. now that is one version I would love to try one day, but pure maple syrup is super costly in India, and so are pecan nuts if you are lucky ton find unsalted pecans in the amount required in the first place as these are products that aren’t local. However all types or nuts are easily available, and so is honey, coconut oil as used in the original recipe is a common sight too, though if you are new to India and reading this, don’t go looking for it in the oil section at the grocery store, coconut oil is found in the hair product section at is is more commonly used for a head massage than to cook with. It’s probably not the healthiest oil to consume either but it gives a nice taste to the granola.

The granola you see in my picture is made as follow:

3 cups regular oats (quaker oats)
1 cup chopped almonds with skin
1 cup chopped cashew nuts
1/4 of a cup flax seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil and a pinch of salt

I mixed all the dry ingredients including the salt in a big mixing bowl, then I put the honey and oil on the stove in a pan to heat briefly (do not boil) so that the honey liquefy a little and mixes with the oil, then you pour your honey mix on the dry ingredients and combine until all the dry stuff is coated. Preheat your oven at 150 degrees Celsius and spread the mix on or non-stick baking trays or trays covered in baking parchment (I use steel plates you commonly find n every store in India). Since my oven is small and the mix should not be too thickly spread I use 3 plates. Bake each bath for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown. At this point when you’ll take it out of the oven it will still be soft, it’s NORMAL, it only hardens once it’s cool so leave it on the hot tray the whole time as the heat from the tray will continue baking and drying your granola.

If you plan to make bars, you need to cut the granola straight out of the oven so that once it cools down you will just have to snap the rectangles. If like me in this picture you want granola chunks you can munch on during the day or put in your cereals in the morning, just break it in small bits with your hand once it has completely cooled down. In both cases store in an airtight container. It will last as long as any regular store bought cereals, but I can assure you that the shelf life of the finished product is pretty much an non issue. Your big problem will be to stop munching on it, and a batch such at this one last 3-4 days max, which is much much faster than it takes to actually spoil.

If you plan to add dry fruits such as raisins, you will need to soak them in water first, as raising baked in the oven from their usual dry fruit state turn rock hard and bitter.
The great thing with granola is that you can use your imagination as of what goes in along with the oats, you can even add spices to the mix to give a different flavour. And since the Indian cousin of granola is chikki, you can use jaggery in the recipe above too, it so happen that I love the taste of honey better than the one of jaggery, but substituting one with the other is totally possible.

6 comments

  1. I've been meaning to make a nut free one - oats and dried fruit etc.

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  2. You can mix different type of cereals and seeds together too, this is really one of these things that is so easy to make at home :)

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  3. Anonymous3:31 AM

    Its a myth that coconut oil is unhealthy, it is in fact the healthiest among all edible oils. The high levels of saturated fat in coconut oil is of a different kind and possess unique anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

    I know this is not the central point of your post, but I just wanted to point this out. Btw I like nutty granola and its even expensive here in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I stand corrected, but it seems even dieteticians and Doctors are falling prey to that myth.
    But then a little of everything in moderation is also what I go by, so coconut oil in granola, real butter in some dishes, real sugar in my baking, and pizza bases made with white flour the way I enjoyed them in my childhood are things I do and will not substitute :)

    Nuts are usually cheap in Switzerland, they are pretty much part of our diet, as many cakes and traditional cookies contain more nut powder than they contain flour. Granola bars aren't exactly dirt cheap in Switzerland either, but still reasonably priced.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Navya3:37 PM

    I used to make this at home using the recipe from Angela's Oh She Glows - if I share the link - it might go into Spam for you... So do browse - she has amazing tutorial pictures

    Search in google for
    oh she glows : my-favourite-homemade-granola-to-date

    For those who do not own a conventional oven, this can be prepared in microwave. It takes a total of 5 minutes with stirring after every minute using my microwave.



    Will try your version next time!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ohhhh I will have to google that one and try it, thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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