Jamie Who is a blog about everything. Except current affairs. And politics. Also science, sport, religion, celebrities, movies, media and marketing, technology, business and design. So...basically Jamie Who is a blog about food. All things food.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Homemade granola

Let's start with the difference between granola and muesli. Basically, although both are predominantly oats, granola is sweetened and baked while muesli is not and has a softer texture. Personally, I love the crunchy bits that come with granola and I think the different textures make it way more interesting than muesli. The problem is that most versions on the shelves are high in either fat, sugar or both. So, I experimented a bit and have come up with a recipe for homemade granola that will blow your mind. Low in calories and big on flavour, this granola is easy to make, will save you money and tastes phenomenal. If it's not sweet enough you can add honey afterwards, but I would be surprised if you need to. The natural, unrefined sugar from the dried fruits and apple juice should do it.

You'll notice an ingredient called quinoa, which I use often. It's a grain that traces back to South America. High in protein, full of nutrients, low in fat, packed with fiber and as easy to prepare as normal rice it is an awesome ingredient. Check out a health shop and use it in salads, soups, stews etc. Here I have used quinoa flakes instead of oatbran which worked beautifully. With the seeds, nuts and dried fruit just use whatever combination you like. As long as the amounts are the same as below, the granola will be perfect.

Okay, stuff you'll need to full a good sized container:
  • 2 Tablespoons Light olive oil

  • 200 ml organic apple juice

  • 120 ml of the best honey you can find

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste (if you can't find it just use a few drops of vanilla essence)

  • 350g rolled oats

  • 100g quinoa flakes (or oatbran)

  • 50g sesame seeds

  • 50g pumpkin seeds

  • 50g sunflower seeds

  • 25g linseeds

  • 25g flaxseeds

  • 200g of dried fruit (I used mango, prunes and cranberries)

  • A handful or two of chopped nuts. (I went for cashews)

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. Gently warm the olive oil, the apple juice, the honey, the vanilla and a pinch of salt in a pan until they are all combined.

3. Mix the oats, quinoa flakes, and all the seeds and nuts in a large bowl. Pour warm liquid over and stir to combine. Spread granola out on baking tray. (Use your hands to squeeze a few clusters of the granola together.)

4. Bake for 45 minutes , turning and stirring the mixture every 10 minutes or so. The granola should be browning nicely but not burning.

5. After 45 minutes, add dried fruit and mix in. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes until you are happy with the colour. Remember that the granola will harden once cooled, and even more overnight.

6. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

7. When you're ready to eat it, serve with plain fat-free yoghurt and some fresh fruit. If you're feeling fancy, crush some rasberries into the yoghurt and swirl them around. It will look incredible. It should taste even better.

Jamie Who

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