A Make-It-Up-As-You-Go Recipe
Last month, a discussion was had in our flat. It went something like this:
Amy: You know what is a delicious and healthy breakfast food that can be eaten with yogurt to increase your calcium intake and ensure you are getting enough good bacteria?
Colleen: Hmm, cereal? Cereal is so expensive here and sugary!
Amy: No, granola!
Colleen: Boy howdy are you ever right! We should make some!
Amy: Make granola? How does one make granola?
Colleen: Well, it's easy! You just mix up whatever seeds, nuts, and dried fruit you like with oats, honey, and oil; then you bake it.
I may be paraphrasing. There may have also been a discussion which followed like this:
Colleen: What do you like in your granola?
Amy: I don't know, the normal stuff.
Colleen: Dried fruit?
Amy: No. The other stuff.
Colleen: Seeds and nuts?
Amy: Yeah, I guess. And the crunchy stuff.
Colleen: What kind of seeds and nuts?
Amy: I don't know, the normal ones.
Here's what we settled upon:
|Gather Your Ingredients. |
Most Stuff Should Be in Jars. If You Are Making Granola, You're The Kind of Person Who Stores Everything In Jars.
2-3 cups of oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 cup of nuts
1/4 cup of large seeds
2 teaspoons of small seeds
2 tablespoons of wheat germ
3 tablespoons of honey
1/3 cup of oil
pinch of salt
pinches of sweet spices
For the nuts, we use almond and cashews because that's what we like. I prefer the nuts chopped up.
Toss your nuts in the bowl, add in your oats. As you can tell, I'm not one for measuring.
Add in some wheat germ. This is not a requirement as it does nothing for flavor; however, it adds lots of healthy stuff!
Next, add some seeds. We use lots of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (shucked, obviously) and a few teaspoons of poppy and sesame seeds.
Add in honey, about three tablespoons. It's better to under-sweeten than over-sweeten, though. You can always put honey on top when you are eating it. If you do not eat honey, for whatever reason, you can also use maple syrup-- though the flavor definitely comes through in the granola and you need much less than honey. Then, add oil. It takes more oil than you think, about a third of a cup!
That's almost everything! Add in a pinch of salt. Then, add in pinches of your favorite sweet spices. I use cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice.
Mix it up!
Spread your granola on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure not to pile it too high; you may have to bake it in two batches. I am always sure to leave some clumps, though, ensuring that there's plenty of "crunchy stuff."
Bake at 350F (170C) for about 10-15 minutes, mixing with a spatula halfway through. The granola is done when the oats are a little brown and the seeds or nuts looked cooked.
Store in an airtight container and it lasts for a few weeks. If you do like dried fruit in your granola, you can add it before or after baking. If you have raisin-picker-outers in your house, it's good to store the dried fruit next to the granola and mix it in when you want it.