A BIG objective behind my cooking/baking obsession is to discover the perfect healthy and tasty snack, which I can munch tons of. And with this brilliant master move avoid the gym forever (working out is the antithesis of pootling). While the wonder snack remains elusive, homemade granola comes real close.
This batch was baked on special request, for the niece’s school snack box. Her portions have big handfuls of chopped dried fruits, which I left off on mine.
Add them to your morning cereal, crumble into some fruit, or have them straight up. These truly deserve a permanent spot in your kitchen, and the simplicity of putting together a batch ensures that you can bake them every couple of weeks (sans the drama associated with a baking adventure).
- 2 ½ cups oats
- 1 ½ cups nuts*, chopped
- 7/8 cup seeds**
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 3/8 cup (about 3 tbsp) applesauce***
- 1/6 (I eyeballed half of 1/3) cup golden syrup
- 1/8 (i.e. half of ¼) cup honey
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
*I used a mix of almonds and walnuts. You can pretty much use whichever nuts you have in stock or like. Granola is uber-flexible and fairly forgiving, in my experience – as long as you get the ratio of dry and wet ingredients right and follow some basic tips
** Again, the mix is up to you. Use one or combination of seeds. I went with musk melon, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
*** I made an applesauce batch which is a fairly easy process. Coarsely chop a few apples and pressure cook (for 4 whistles) and let cool. Strain through a sieve to remove peels and seeds. Not up for apples and adding another step to the recipe? Mash a ripe banana – I have done this in the past. The banana flavor disappears on baking.
- Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl
- Warm the fruit puree, golden syrup, honey and oil in a small saucepan
- Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix well
- Pre heat the oven to 150 c. Grease a baking try (with high sides) – mine measures 11 ½ by 9 inches and scoop the mix into it. Flatten with a spatula/back of a large spoon. Pack it in well, else (and I know from experience) granola burns!
- Bake for about 40 minutes. Check for burning occasionally, and turn around the tray a couple of times (if your oven has hot spots like mine)
- Cool and store at room temperature
After it was cool, I added some chopped dates for that bit of additional sweet. And as mentioned, I jazzed up the remaining, for my niece, with chopped dried fruits. In went dried apricots, figs, and raisins. That kid ‘doesn’t like raisins, she LOVES them’ (in her words), so yeah, I was quite liberal with the stuff.