Homemade Granola Recipe
Now to be honest, I am not someone who wakes up in the morning and feeds on packaged stuff. I do not enjoy cornflakes or muesli, they seem somehow unappetising and considering they are overly sweet, make me nauseous. But then there are days,wherein I get bored of idli, dosa, parathas, upma etc and would love to have something fresh. Something that includes less prep work, has nuts & fruits, not overly sweet and is healthy as well. So I don't feel guilty binging on some goodness. Until I visited Kashi art cafe, in Cochin and had this gorgeous homemade granola in a bar. I could have never imagined that curd, cut fruits and homemade granola with a nice tall glass of chilled juice, can be absolutely delicious. And yes, homemade granola is by far tastier, cheaper and healthier than those store bought ones.
If you like caramel popcorn, you are so gonna love this!! But it's healthier of course :) Homemade granola is made with good quality maple syrup and organic honey. No artificial sweeteners. Not sure what they put in the commercial ones though. But you need to taste the homemade one to know its difference vs a packaged granola/muesli . You can add in your favourite nuts and dry fruits, quantity basis your liking and yes also adjust the sweetness levels as per your preference !
The trick however lies in getting the caramelisation part right. I've made this in an OTG, so do not ask me as to how it can be conjured in a microwave. I firmly believe microwave kills all nutrients and is best avoided. Too much caramelisation, will make this taste like burnt popcorn. So basis your oven's heating, I would suggest keep it around 120-150 C so that you're on the safer side and avoid a disaster. Also its best if you can get your hands on jumbo oats (in terms of the size) or rolled out oats. So that each oat is flaky and adds on volume with every bite.
Since I couldn't find one while making this recipe, Ive used the good old fashioned oats here aka Quakers.
Here's what you need to make Homemade Granola, packed with fibre and nutrients :
3 cups - Oats
1 cup - dried seeds (sunflower, pinenuts, pumpkin)
1/2 cup - Walnuts
1 cup dry fruits - Raisins/Sultanas. cranberries, almond flakes
1 cup - Maple syrup
1/4 cup - Honey
1/2 cup - Olive oil (use a good quality virgin olive oil)
1/2 tbsp - Vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1. Preheat your oven to 180 C for 10mins, line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a deep bowl - add all the dry ingredients which is your oats & nuts.
3. Next add in the honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, olive oil, a pinch of salt. Mix all the ingredients well such that they are evenly coated.
4. Spread this mixture into a thin layer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let it bake for 10mins
5. After 10 mins remove from the oven, give the oats a nice stir and let it bake for another 10mins. You will need to repeat this process 4 times. Until all the maple syrup - oil dries up and the oats look toasty. Do not do this more than 4 times or else you will end up burning the oats. Use a parchment paper to line the baking tray, else it will stick at the bottom.
6. Once done, let the mixture cool down completely before transferring it to an air tight container. You will notice that as the oats cool down, they become crispier and dry. This granola can be stored for a month.
Simply munch on it as is - and enjoy the caremelised goodness !!
I personally prefer Granola topped with some greek yoghurt and fresh cut fruits. The varying layers of texture make this absolutely yummy to relish and keeps you going for hours together. This is a complete meal by itself.