Friday, 9 March 2012
I have always had a great love for granola. I like to make my own though . . . that way I can control what goes into it. When I make my own, I know exactly what is in it . . . natural ingredients, no preservatives, chemicals etc.
I first began making my own back in the early 1980's. I had a next door neighbor who used to always make her own and it was really tasty. Much nicer than what you found in the shops, and not all that expensive either. Especially if you live near a bulk food store.
Through the years I have changed and adapted the recipe until I have what I now think is the perfect recipe. Perfect for me at any rate.
I like a nutty, toasty granola. Not too sweet or too high in fat. Chock full of nuts and fruit. You can vary the variety of nuts and fruits of course, only using what it is that brings you the most joy. I like lots of fruit and nuts in mine. That's what brings me the most pleasure. Handy for breakfast or for snacks.
My favourite way to eat this is for breakfast, in a little glass fruit dessert dish . . .with a nice dollop of thick greek yoghurt on top, (No fat one for me) and a drizzle of Greek honey. I love Greek honey with it's beautiful hint of anise flavour . . . it's my favourite kind.
This is the perfect way to start the day! Seriously!
*Fruity Breakfast Granola*
makes about 14 cups
You can make this as fruity as you prefer. I have found through the years that some fruits are not that good in it as they make it soggy. I don't recommend using any MOIST type of dried fruit, I prefer to use dried apricots, cranberries, raisins, mango, etc.
6 fluid ounces vegetable oil (3/4 cup)
4 fluid ounces of liquid honey (1/2 cup)
200g soft light brown sugar (1 cup packed firmly)
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
650g of old fashioned flaked oats (8 cups)
2 handfuls of sunflower seeds (about 1/2 cup)
40g of sweetened flaked coconut (1/2 cup)
85g of raw almonds (1/2 cup . I like marcona)
60g of raw pecans (1/2 cup)
30g of raw cashew nuts (1/4 cup)
30g raw macadamia nuts (1/4 cup)
a couple handfuls of chopped dried apricots
a couple handfuls of dried cranberries
a couple handfuls of raisins
a handful of chopped dried mango
a handful of chopped dried pineapple
a handful of chopped dried papaya
a handful of chopped dried dates
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Have ready a couple of large rimmed baking sheets, which you have sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, coconut and nuts. Set aside.
Put the oil, honey, brown sugar, salt and vanilla into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the warm mixture over top of the oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat.
Divide the mixture in between both of the baking sheets. Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so, until the granola is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding any fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.
Note: The recipe is quite easy to cut in half. I normally only bake a half recipe at a time because they are now just the two of us. Makes a nice snack as well.