Homemade granola is something I like to have on hand for breakfast or as a snack. It's also my way to use up bits of nuts and seeds, as well as dried fruit.
The sweetness can be adjusted to suit your taste, and the granola keeps well for a few weeks in a tightly sealed container.
Heat the oven to 325F and have a baking sheet ready for the granola.
In a small saucepan melt:
2 ounces butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
4 cups oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans
3/4 cup almonds
2 tablespoons cocoa
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well to combine, making sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar that might form.
Spread the granola evenly onto the baking sheet.
Bake until golden and crispy, stirring every 10 minutes, as the edges colour and crisp first.
This takes between 25 - 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Place the cooled granola back into the large bowl and add in dried fruit. I used:
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
Mix well to combine.
We like to eat the granola for breakast, along with fresh summer fruit and Greek yoghurt. It can also be eaten as a cereal, with milk, or dry as a snack.
- The wet ingredients can be altered by using honey or golden syrup instead of maple syrup; lemon zest instead of orange; almond extract instead of vanilla. Vegetable, nut oil or coconut oil can be used instead of butter.
- Oatmeal and brown sugar are the base of the dry ingredients; everything else can be changed to fit what is available at the time you make the granola. The brown sugar can be adjusted to increase or decrease the sweetness.
- Cinnamon is a sweet spice, but it is not essential to the recipe. It can be omitted or changed to another spice such as ground ginger (you could also use grated fresh ginger in the wet ingredients for a more peppery ginger taste), nutmeg or aniseed.
- As far as the nuts go, I like to use a combination of pecans and almonds. I have also used hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios and macadamia nuts.
- Any nut that you have in house, or really love, can be added to the granola. I like to chop larger nuts into smaller pieces, as it's easier to eat something the size of a flaked almond than a half pecan or whole brazilnut.
- If I have sunflower, pumpkin or flax seeds in the house, I add a few as well. You can also add other seeds such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds or chia seeds.
- Dried fruit is again, a personal choice. Try cranberries, raisins (dark or golden), sultanas, apricots, blueberries, dates, dried banana or mango, or dried figs.
- Granola can also be sprinkled over rice pudding to add some crunch.