Tuesday, 13 September 2016

make your own granola

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This winter we all switched to oats for breakfast and we haven't looked back. We eat it as oatmeal or muesli with honey, brown sugar, fruit or yoghurt on top.

Oats are delicious and they're a superfood so I feel healthy and virtuous eating them. And its made me extra happy to see the boys head off to school with a healthy filling breakfast. I like that they are good for Mr F's cholesterol too.

Check out this link which explains the many different ways oats are fabulous for you.

I like my oats granola-ed too. If you make your own you can fill the granola with other healthy stuff you love.

When I made my first batch on a whim I just used what I could find in the pantry, I had some leftover cashews and currants and slivered almonds, sultanas, coconut and sesame seeds and we always have maple syrup and brown sugar for cooking and pancakes.

You can't always rely on pantry staples though and this is my current quick, cheap, low fuss method. Buying the additions as mixed bags of nuts and seeds and fruits makes it quick and easy, they sit in the cupboard until I make another batch and its cheaper to get a good variety. Much cheaper than store bought granola too.

I've added a list below to give you some other ideas for ingredients. You could use as many or as few as you liked. The best thing about homemade granola is tailoring it to your own tastes, you can lower the sugar content, omit the salt, make it nutfree and add or leave out anything you want. This version is high in additions. If there are too many for you just add more oats.

Home Made Granola

Ingredients

5 cups traditional oats (don't use instant)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites (optional, for crispiness)
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 pack Paleo mix or similar
1 pack Orchard mix or similar or see the list of additions below


Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius fan forced.

Measure oats into a large bowl. Add oil, maple syrup and brown sugar. Add egg whites and salt and vanilla extract.

Mix to coat.

Lay out oat mix on baking trays. Use a couple so that you don't have to make the oats too deep and they all get cooked.

Cook for 15 minutes on 180 degrees.

Check at ten minutes so it doesn't get burned.

Meanwhile some of the nuts in the premixed packs I buy aren't peeled or chopped. I soak the skins off the almonds (cover with boiling water for five minutes or until the skins just rub off). And then I chop them all into smaller pieces. You can sliver your almonds too if you have the patience!

I use the premixed paleo and orchard mixes because they give me a really good range of additions without buying them all individually. I like the variety and its simple. Alternatively, and if you are going to make this regularly, buy the things you like in bulk and mix them yourself. My mixes have walnuts and cranberries, pepitas and coconut amongst other things, you can see them in the pics above.

Turn oven down to 160 degrees Celcius.

Add the mixed nuts and seeds and fruit and stir through. Cook 8 minutes.

I cook the oats first and then mix in the additions later once I've lowered the heat. Its easy to burn the sultanas and other fruit and while I like mine cooked they can cook too much. If you don't like your fruit cooked add it to the crunchy oats at the end. Or add the nuts earlier and hold back the fruit.

Make it how you like it!

Take out and turn and cook another 10 minutes. Keep going till its like you like it, but be careful not to burn it.

The added oil and egg whites help to make the crunch so if you don't like it crunchy omit them. I've made a batch without oil too and its fine if you want to be healthier. Similarly lower the sugar content or swap the syrup and brown sugar out for honey or another sweetener.

Granola Additions

As I've said, the best thing about homemade Granola is tailoring it to your own tastes. To me the cranberries are especially nice toasted, they turn into little soft crunchy versions of themselves. I also like nuts like cashews and walnuts in my granola for their nutty crunch.

Here's a list of other things you could put in.

Grain - Spelt, Barley, Wheat, Oats

Oils - Vegetable, peanut, grape seed, olive.

Egg whites - for crunchiness. Optional.

Seeds - pepitas, sesame seeds, linseed, pumpkin seeds.

Dried fruit - currants, sulatanas, dried banana, apricot, dates, pineapple, pawpaw, cranberries, blueberries, apple, dessicated or flaked coconut, dried figs or dates.

Sweetness - maple syrup, honey, brown sugar

Nuts - almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios

Flakes - wheat, wheatgerm, bran, quinoa

vanilla extract, cinnamon