I've loved granola since about the age of 9. It was the only topping I would ever get on a peach Yami Yogurt, a relatively healthy treat my Mum would allow me to get while we shopped in Singapore malls. I loved its earthy not-too-sweetness and its ambivalence between crunchiness and chewiness. I'm pretty sure it was at this point that I abandoned cornflakes altogether. Their hollow, cardboardy texture just didn't cut it anymore. Even their sugary coatings just made it taste like sugary cardboard.
Over the many years since, granola has graced my breakfast table in fits and starts, mostly because it frustrated me that the good gourmet blends would charge quite a lot, for not enough for my liking.
Finally about this time last year I decided to buy raw oats direct from a farm and learn how to make granola from scratch. It's fundamentally quite easy to do, but it did take me patching together a few recipes and a few trial and error rounds with technique to get to something I was happy to share with you all.
So below is my basic granola recipe. Please use your favourite mix of nuts and dried fruits. For those watching your sugar and salt intake, feel free to reduce the sugar, sweetener and salt levels to your liking.
I like my granola served up with sliced banana and either greek-style yoghurt, or just cold skimmed milk. How do you like yours?
- 4 cups jumbo oats (I use Pimhill Organic)
- 100ml oil (I use a half and half blend of sunflower oil and mild olive oil)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (I use a blend of runny honey, maple syrup and agave nectar)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Your choice of seeds
- Choice of nuts, roughly chopped
- Choice of dried fruit
- Pinch of finely ground coffee powder (optional)
- Put oven on bake setting and preheat to 170 deg C
- In a big bowl, mix all of the ingredients above except the nuts and dried fruit until you get an evenly wet sticky mix
Tip: Use the same measuring cup for the oil and the liquid sweeteners. Measure and pour out the oil first, then the liquid sweeteners. This way barely any of the sweetener will stick to the measuring cup, leading to less wastage
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
- Spread out the sticky oaty mix onto the 2 trays
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Extract the trays, turn the oaty mix
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Extract the trays, add the chopped nuts, turn the oaty mix. This way the nuts won't burn
- Bake for last 10 minutes until golden brown
- Extract the trays, add the dried fruit, turn the oaty mix. This way the fruits won't burn
- If you like, sprinkle on the coffee powder at this point. This way the coffee won't burn and turn the mix bitter, but will add a lovely aroma to the mix
- Leave to cool. The granola will crisp and cluster up as it cools
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks