Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tastes good, good for you!
I have been wanting to make my own granola for a while now, and I'm pleased to say I finally did! Since moving to the US, I've adopted the convenient practice of eating cereal for breakfast, hoping that the extra milk will make my bones stronger when I'm old and grey ;) Although I must confess to fantasizing about fluffy idlis and crisp dosas every now and then - sadly, these items are now relegated to the "on weekends only" category!
Breakfast cereals may look healthy, but they can actually be l-o-a-d-e-d with sugar. It is also an exhausting task to read through their lengthy lists of ingredients! Making granola at home is almost ridiculously easy. It's also very economical, and makes a good amount, so you'll have some to give your friends as well. I used rolled oats, wheatgerm, flax seeds, and almonds, all toasted together with pure honey and a drizzle of vegetable oil, and then mixed in dried cranberries and chopped apricots. This yielded a mix with a satisfying crunch, not too sweet - just the right way to start your day!
You can ring the changes endlessly, using different combinations of fruit, nuts and seeds to suit your taste. Coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, pecans, dried blueberries, dates, raisins...your imagination is the limit!
Honey-toasted fruit and nut granola (makes 10 cups, or about 20 servings)
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheatgerm
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped (you can also use ready-slivered ones)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
3/4 cup honey
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 300F(150C).
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients excepting the fruit till well mixed. Heat the oil and honey together over low heat till the honey loosens up completely. Pour the warm honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir till evenly moistened. Spread the mixture over two rimmed baking sheets and bake in the oven, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Stir in the fruit for the last 5 minutes of baking, just to dry up any excess moisture in them.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container.