In my opinion home made granola knocks any shop bought cereal into a cocked hat (that’s an odd saying, isn’t it? Wonder where it comes from?). The great news is that it’s not at all difficult to make, and has a really flexible ingredient list. It does need continued attention during the 30-40 minute baking period, but it’s well worth the time. I find it’s a lovely rainy afternoon cooking activity, ‘specially when combined with gumpaste flower making (more on that another day).
- a cereal base – usually oats (use jumbo ones, not itty-bitty porridge ones); rye, barley etc. can be used, but not for a g/f version!
- nuts and seeds – we’re particularly partial to sunflower and pumpkin seeds/pistachios and almonds, but have been known to variously use sesame seeds, flax, hazelnuts, coconut and walnuts…what’s in your cupboard?
- fruit – any dried fruit you like…cranberries, chopped dates, apricots, raisins, cherries, sultanas, mango, apple…as I said, anything you like in any combo you have available.
- sugar – usually a ‘sticky’ sugar such as honey, maple syrup, agave etc., alone or in combo with ‘grain’ sugar (soft brown or muscavado work best in my opinion)
- fat – typically a neutral oil like rapeseed/canola, although coconut oil can be good if you have it.
- flavouring – salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger…what do you like?
The ratios are really down to personal preference, but the following should give you a good stepping off point in your quest for personal granola perfection.
40g soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Two good pinches of flaked salt
500g jumbo rolled oats
150g roughly chopped nuts (pistachios and almonds were used here)
75g seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
150g dried fruit – chop larger fruits such as dates or apricots (this one has sultanas, dried cranberries and dried cherries)
In a large bowl (large enough to eventually hold all ingredients and still allow space for mixing), whisk together oil, syrup, sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon until well blended.
Add all other ingredients except fruit and mix to combine. Don’t bother being all namby-pamby with a spatula – get stuck in and get your hands in there.
When everything’s thoroughly mixed and the oats are evenly coated with sticky goodness, spread in thin layers onto the baking trays and bake for 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so to prevent the edges from burning (that’s the continuous attention part). You’ll know when it’s ready – the oats will be what you deem to be perfectly golden brown 🙂
I have no idea how long this keeps for as a batch this size never lasts more than 5 days in the Renegade household.
We usually have it with yoghurt (Yeo Valley Organic Mango & Vanilla was the choice this time…flippin’ scrumptious!), but it’s just as good with milk…or as a snack from the hand…granola is not just for breakfast you know 😉
What’s your perfect combo?