Granola is the perfect trail mix to carry, handy and healthy and yummy (yes healthy and yummy together in one sentence) and an energy boost — the perfect snack on an arduous trek or during any form of intense physical activity.
Homemade granola is a healthy, comforting and delicious treat. Most of the granola that one buys in stores is high in sugar content, contains unhealthy oils, fats, synthetic vitamins and unnecessary ingredients. Making your own mix at home is very easy and allows you control over the amount of sugar, oil and quality of ingredients. Plus you can change and play around with ingredients to whisk up a new batch of granola.
We made our own on a lazy weekend when we were snowed in. And we can safely say, it’s not tedious, takes under an hour and the kitchen didn’t catch fire. And the end result, honey-glazed golden brown-roasted yummy granola!
Here’s some interesting history as you begin to prepare for your Granola journey
Granula was the world’s first dry, manufactured breakfast cereal. It was invented by Dr.James Caleb Jackson, doctor at a wellness spa (then called sanitarium) in upstate New York in the 19th century (1863). He developed Granula from bran-rich Graham flour (whole wheat flour which is unbolted and coarse). The dense, chewy grains had to be soaked overnight in milk before serving. Dr. Jackson introduced a completely new and healthy concept of breakfast, hitherto unknown — at that time, the standard American breakfast was a lavish British tradition legacy of a cholesterol-rich hot meal of eggs, bacon, sausage and beef or chicken, cooked grains (hot cereal), biscuits, toast, butter and jam (!).
Granola was born of a trademark lawsuit – Dr. John Kellogg helped himself to (pun intended) Dr.Jackson’s concept and changed the name to Granola.
Today, pressed granola bars are still seen as a premium snack option in India. But in the last 5 years, many companies, not just multinational FMCG companies, have made inroads into this category of food snacks with numerous brands lining store shelves. It is indeed snack break manna when one is hungry and needs an energy-fix.
Here’s the recipe we followed — you can switch ingredients and experiment, feel free!
Recipe courtesy The Joy of Baking.
Here’s what you need:
- Rolled oats – 3 cups (275 grams) Amazon India
- Almonds – 1 cup (150 grams) — either whole or slivered (we prefer whole) Amazon India
- Sunflower Seeds – 1/2 cup (75 grams) Amazon India
- Pumpkin Seeds – 1/2 cup (75 grams) Amazon India
- Chia Seeds – 1/4 cup (40 grams) Amazon India
- Ground cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
- Honey – 1/2 cup (120 ml) Amazon India
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram)
- Water – 1/4 cup (60 ml)
- Oil – 1/4 cup (60 ml) (canola, sunflower, coconut, avoid olive oil as its flavour may be too strong)
- Light brown sugar – 1/4 cup (50 grams) Amazon India
- Pure Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) Amazon India
You can switch using different nuts and seeds for flavour and texture — peanuts, cashew, sesame seed, flax seed, rice flakes, wheatgerm, desiccated coconut, fig, chia seed, chocolate chunks… go ahead make your own mix. I also used jaggery (Amazon India) instead of brown sugar, because I love the flavour it imparts.
Once you have the ingredients you are happy with, let’s go Granola:
- Combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, ground cinnamon and salt in a bowl — these are the dry ingredients
- In a small saucepan, add the water, oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Bring this to a boil, stirring continuously. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, ensuring the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid.
- Put this mixture into a baking tray that is greased with butter. Spread the mix evenly
- Pre-heat oven to 165 degrees C and bake the mix for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. Stir the mix occasionally so the mixture browns evenly.
Take the tray out of the oven once you’re happy with the golden brown colour. The granola mix will be soft and sticky, but will become dry and crisp as it cools. Once the granola has completely cooled, store in an airtight container. You can add raisins, cranberries (Amazon India), blackberries (Amazon India) or other nuts to this mix. It will last for several weeks.
This recipe makes about 8 cups of granola — around 850 grammes. This is equivalent to 3400kCal of energy. Taking an average 150kCal offering per granola bar of approx. 35-40gm, this mix is equivalent to 22 granola bar servings.
Go ahead; enjoy your home-made gorp. Do share your granola journey with us.