Tuesday, April 3, 2012

tasty tuesday: home-made granola.

As a note: I do a lot of talking before I get the recipe. I figure it's important stuff but if you want to get to the nuts and bolts, feel free to skip ahead. 

A long time ago -probably two years ago now - N & I decided we didn't want to buy cereal from the supermarkets any more. A big box cost $8 and would last us a week, we didn't know how much sugar, salt and fat was packed in there, and they just didn't really taste that great. So, we researched and found a recipe for home-made toasted granola. Over the last two years we've tweaked the recipe to suit, the last improvement being to cut out the brown sugar and just have honey instead of both, as we were watching our calories. We make a 'double batch' every two weeks, and have this for breakfast almost every morning. A 'scoop' and a bit, eaten at 7am will satisfy me until about 10.30.

There are unlimited variations you can make to this recipe. For a vegan version, sub the honey for brown/raw sugar, or rice bran syrup. If you have a sweet tooth, try adding 2/3 a cup of brown or raw sugar as well as the honey. If you don't like almonds, don't add them! Love cashews? Chop some up and toast them with, or after the almonds. We used to add coconut in a step after adding the seeds but felt it was a lot of calories (but it is tasty) so we leave it out now. If you want to add apricot and leave out the paw paw, do! It's up to what you like eating, what you can eat (I can't have dried apricots because the sulphites give me asthma), and whether you're dieting or not! Similarly, we sometimes add nutmeg, and we go crazy for cinnamon- you mightn't like it as much as we do, so alter it to your tastes.

If you double the ingredients & steps below, you'll have breakfasts for two weeks (or more or less depending how much you eat). This isn't a 'quick and easy' meal, but it does last for two weeks so I figure it's worth the time. Preparation time is probably about 5-10 mins, but cooking takes about 40 mins (80 if you're doing a double unless your oven fits in more trays than ours, we can only do 2 trays at a time) and you have to take the trays in and out so you can't go for a walk and come back when it's done. We usually watch a movie and just pause it every 7 minutes when the granola needs to be stirred.

Oats! El cheapo style. Add the whole lot to your bowl.

Flakes! Not as cheap. 
But they're meant to be good for you, so what the hey?

Add a cup of each type of flake to your oats.

Mmmm.... cinnamon.

I added 2 very heaped teaspoons. You may wish to add less
if you're not as obsessed as we are.

There was meant to be a picture of the honey going in the microwave but our microwave looked unclean so I did some artistic effects with the fern and the wombat instead. Put your honey in your  microwave and zap it for 30 seconds.

Here it is, nice and runny. Pour in about 1/2 to 2/3 of the jar 
(our jar was 500g).

Add about 1/3 cup of oil. Any less and it might be dry
and not 'crunchy', any more and it'll be super crispy.

Stir! And.. um.. try not to get the mix all over the
bench in the process.

Put the mix in two baking trays as so.

Set a timer for 10 minutes.

Get out all the rest of the stuff. 

Have a kitten break while you wait for the timer.

This is Mia. She's a cat who, as a rule, doesn't sit on
your lap. Except for this time, apparently.
There were chin-rubs on offer, you see.

Ok! Get the trays out of the oven, stir the mix
paying special attention to the corners. Mine somehow
ended up looking like the Third Reich war bird. Even out the mix.

Add your pre-chopped almonds, then put the mix back in for 
7 minutes.

When the timer goes off, get it out, stir it, then add the seeds on top.
Put the mix back in for 7 minutes.

Remove helpful cat from pantry.
This time, when the timer goes off, remove the mix, stir it
and put it back in for 7 minutes (add coconut here if you want).

When the timer goes off, get the mix out, allow it to cool a bit
then add the fruit as much or as little as you prefer 
(this mix is a bit fruity for us- I'll 'thin it out' with some non-fruited
mix before I put it in a container). 

The Recipe - Easy to Read format.

It seems like a lot of ingredients but if you can buy in bulk, then you sort of do a 'big shop' every few months for the seeds and stuff that you run out of. We get our oats for 99c a bag (for US readers, we don't have self-serve bulk options easily available in our supermarkets yet - this may be a cheaper option for you). 

Makes approx 14 bowls.
We recommend eating with soy milk or other dairy alternatives, for both health and ethical reasons.

1 x1kg  bag of oats
1 cup triticale flakes
1 cup rye flakes
1 cup barley flakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 - 2/3 jar of honey (approx 330g - our jars are 500g)(substitute rice malt syrup, agave syrup, sugar or other sweeteners for a vegan version, note that using sugar only will probably mean the oats won't 'crisp up').
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
1-2 cups chopped almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Sultanas according to preference
Dried paw paw according to preference
Dried pineapple according to preference
Dried cranberries according to preference.


  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Tip oats into a large stirring bowl.
  • Measure out and add 1 cup each of rye, triticale and barley flakes.
  • Microwave the honey for approx 30 seconds. Careful! Hot!
  • Pour honey over oats. Add cinnamon and oil to mix. Stir thoroughly until entire mix is coated (should have a sticky feel and no dry oats/flakes).
  • Divide mix onto baking trays, about 2cm thick. If doing a 'double', you will probably need 4 trays. 
  • Cook for 10 minutes - set a timer. When the timer goes, remove trays from oven and stir the mix, paying attention to the edges and corners as these areas will be the first to burn.
  • Put back in oven, cook for 7 minutes. When timer goes off, remove from oven, stir the mix, and add almonds (divide evenly between mixes, so if doing a double batch, set half aside). 
  • Put back in oven, cook for 7 minutes. When timer goes off, remove from oven, stir, and add all the seeds. 
  • Put back in oven, cook for 7 minutes, when timer goes off, remove, stir (add coconut at this point if you want), and put back in oven.
  • Cook for 7 minutes. Allow to cool. Add fruit, stir through, store in air-tight container. 

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