Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Recipe: homemade granola

As much as I've enjoyed eating porridge almost every single day the past winter, it was time for a new breakfast option. I like eating Greek yogurt, but figured that granola would make it more interesting. Failing to find the perfect granola, I decided to make my own!
The best thing about making your own granola is that you can combine all your favorite ingredients and leave out the ones you don't like. I'm not a big fan of sultanas/raisins for example, so I didn't include these. 

There's three things you need to include:
- Oats. This is the foundation of the granola. You should use whole rolled oats, but I only had porridge oats so I used those. Nothing wrong with this I think. (ps. you can also use gluten-free oats)
- Oil/butter. You can use olive oil, butter, coconut oil, vegetable oil.. the options are endless. Just make sure it's melted. For one small batch of granola, I used 2 tablespoons of melted butter. It's better to use too little than too much.
- Sweetener. I used a small sachet (8 grams) of vanilla sugar, for a vanilla flavour and lovely scent while baking. You can also use honey, sugar or any kind of syrup (agave, maple...) Less is more! The aim is to include less sugar than in store-bought granolas.

The remaining ingredients are totally up to you! If you want to add any kind of dried fruit, add it after baking. Coconut is fine to include in the baking process. For proportions: the oats should make up the biggest part of the granola. 
I added:
- toasted coconut chips
- almonds and walnuts, roughly chopped
- a mix of flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- coconut flakes

Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Toss your oats and extras on the tray. Sprinkle the sugar or other sweetener over it. Finally, add your oil/butter. Mix everything with a spoon (or use your hands, Jamie Oliver style). Pop this in a preheated oven at 180 degrees (Celsius) for about 20-30 minutes. Check every 5 minutes and when the top layer starts to turn brown, grab a spoon and mix it up. Repeat this during the 30 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn and everything gets evenly baked. 

When you think it's ready, take it out to let it cool.  When cooled, pop in a tupperware. 

There are two basic ways of eating granola for breakfast: with yogurt or with milk. You can also make this breakfast dairy-free; just add almond/rice milk or soy yogurt. Add some fruit to make it more interesting! As a dessert, you can eat the granola with vanilla ice cream or home made frozen yogurt (a recipe which I can't wait to show you soon; I made frozen yogurt a few times last summer and it was the bomb).

If you give this a try, let me know what your favorite combination is. I'm a granola-newbie so every tip is welcome! 

© whiskers & lions

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