Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Homemade Granola

If you like granola but hate the expensive, sweet, preservative laden grocery store varieties, read on.
This granola is based on a recipe I found online but I've tweaked it so much that it bears no resemblance to the original.

I started making this granola around the time I started reading food labels and started worrying about preservatives, trans fats, corn syrup etc being in the foods we consumed. I figured at least I know exactly what went into our breakfast.

Though this granola doesn't have any preservatives and not much fat, it is fairly high in calories. What with all the nuts and dried fruits.

This granola is supposed to have a shelf life of about two weeks but it is gone within a week. So I have never been able to verify that claim.

Variations: Too many to list.
By just changing the nuts and dried fruits and the proportions in which they are used, you can create so many versions of this granola.
Substitute the honey with maple syrup for a completely different taste.
Use nutmeg instead of cinnamon for an interesting twist.

Though we usually have this granola for breakfast, the kids like to munch on it as a snack, or use it as a topping for ice-cream.

6 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups chopped nuts (I usually use almonds and walnuts)
1 cup dried fruit ( I like to add black raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, and apricots)
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup honey (1 cup to make it extra sweet)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup wheat germ
1/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp flax seeds or flax seed meal (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon, salt, and wheat germ. Mix well.
In a large wok or pot, heat the oil over low heat and add the honey. Mix well.
Add the oat mixture and toss well making sure the oil-honey mixture coats as much of the oat mixture as possible.
Divide the mixture onto two baking sheets. Spread well.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, stirring the oats every 7-8 minutes. If you prefer a lighter coloured granola, reduce the baking time by about 5-6 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit and flax seeds (if using).
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

This is my entry for WeekendBreakfastBlogging#13: Oats, hosted this month by Madhuli of My Foodcourt.
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