18/06/2011

Home-made granola

Granolahome-made granola
Makes about 1kg (2 pounds)

Ingredients:
6 cups (about 500g) oats

flexible dry ingredients:
1/2 cup almond meal (or ground almonds or wholemeal flour)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 tsp cinnamon

flexible wet ingredients:
2/3 cup honey or carob syrup
2/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

optional other ingredients:
raisins, chopped apricots, other nuts seeds or dried fruit

Method:
Heat oven to 180C. Spread the oats in an ungreased roasting pan or similar large ovenproof dish, and cook, dry, for about 10-15 minutes, stirring about half way through to ensure they cook evenly, and to stop the edges burning.

Add about two and a half to three cups of dry ingredients, which can be altered to suit personal tastes (see notes below), and mix well. Mix the oil and honey together, and stir in, with the vanilla essence if used, mixing thoroughly to ensure that the dry ingredients are well-covered. Spread the mixture out, and return to the oven. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, until slightly golden, stirring every two or three minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the pan inside, adding optional ingredients if wished, allowing the granola to cool before removing from the tin - overnight is fine.


Store in airtight container. Add optional ingredients if wished, or add them when serving.

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Granola is a breakfast cereal based on cooked oats. It differs from muesli in that the latter is usually based on uncooked oats. I was given some home-made granola by a friend; it was in crunchy clumps, and looked wonderful. I asked for the recipe, and she gave it to me, pretty much as above. I've made it many times, but, alas, have never managed to make clumped granola: it's crunchy, with a few clumps, but mostly the consistency of toasted oats.

As this is an American recipe, the measured quantity of the ingredients is somewhat significant, so it's not possible to give weights as they vary depending on what is used. If you don't have measuring cups, you can use a measuring jug; one American cup measures about the same as eight fluid ounces or about 260 ml.

Any of the dry ingredients is optional and the amounts are flexible, but the total amount should be somewhere around two and a half to three cups. You could try rice flour instead of buckwheat, for instance, or use a cup of sesame seeds instead of the coconut. I use almond meal that's left over from making almond milk, but if you don't have access to that (and if you don't mind wheat/gluten) then regular flour is fine. The great thing with this recipe is that it can be adapted to suit almost any taste.

I use olive oil, but any vegetable oil would be fine. I also tend to use half carob syrup rather than all honey; golden syrup would work, too, although it would be quite sweet. For a treacle taste, molasses or black treacle could probably be used instead of some of the honey - just make sure there's a total of around 2/3 cup of honey-like substances, and 2/3 cup of oil, although if you prefer your granola to be less sweet, you could decrease the honey and increase the oil a little.

If anyone makes this and finds that it clumps nicely, please let me know what you did!

I find this makes enough to last me about three weeks, eating it with extra nuts, fresh fruit and yogurt, and using some fruit juice or milk to moisten.

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