Saturday 8 June 2013

Home made granola

Between one thing and d’other, I ran out of muesli during the week (this is probably linked to my 'up-make' of smoothies*). So I decided to do something that I've until now considered as complete and utter madness** - make breakfast cereal.

While looking for something else on line I saw a recipe for homemade granola (or muesli) and decided to give it a go.  The result is very satisfying. The best part is that you can make it to how you like it.
Home-made granola 

So, in a large bowl, mix 125ml of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of honey, a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Add 300g of large oats and around 200g of whatever nuts you have. I used up the ends of packets of almonds, walnuts and pistachios to make the 200g, but you can use seeds (sunflower, sesame, ground linseeds…) or whatever you have handy. Make sure the nuts and oats are well stirred through the maple syrup. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and spread the oaty mix over it. Cook this in an oven at 150° for 15 minutes. In the meantime, weigh out 100g of dried fruit – again, whatever you have lying around. I used a mixture of dried cranberries, sultanas and blueberries and some goji berries***. Sprinkle this over the oaty mixture and cook for another 15 minutes.

When its cool, store in an airtight container and use in your smoothies, on yogurt or wherever else.

* 365things smoothies contain: a cupful of fruit such as frozen mixed berries or frozen raspberries, plus a banana, a pot of yogurt, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dessert spoonful of granola, a splash of milk or fruit juice or sparkling water and maybe a spoonful of almond butter (think peanut butter but with almonds instead of peanuts. It is available from health food shops and is addictive. It is a good source of calcium, potassium and magnesium and contains lots of vitamin E. Vitamin E is like edible skin cream, so instead of spending a fortune on anti-wrinkle creams and the like, treat your skin from the inside. Careful though, as almond butter is quite heavy on the calories). Whizz all the ingredients in a blender for about a minute until smooth, adding more milk or juice to get it to your preferred consistency) and serve glass.

** why do I consider making cereal a form of madness? Well, unlike other processed food, porridge oats and muesli/granola are quite pure forms of food and they contain less nasty stuff than say processed bread, so I don't mind buying them, and I will spend a day making bread. And, until now, I just thought life was too short to make this stuff. Mind changed ;-)

*** I bought the goji berries in a health food shop after hearing they are incredibly good for you, with high calcium and iron levels. I didn't like the taste of them that much so they have been in the cupboard for a while. Added to the granola means that the taste is diluted a bit.

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