I am passionate about many things in life. Dreams. Writing. My family & friends. World peace. Granola. I must have inherited that last one from my mother as she is frequently whipping up homemade concoctions of baked oats, nuts, and fruit. Most recently, I’ve been enjoying granola with berries and soy or hemp milk. I’m also a fan of nonfat plain greek yogurt.
Inspired by Kristin at Peace, Love and Muesli and her challenge to make something at home that is healthier than the pre-made equivalent, I created my very own, rather unique organic granola. Alas, I did not measure the ingredients (takes too much time in my crowded day, sorry). But you have to try pretty hard to screw up granola. Read on to see what I mean.
I tossed the following [organic] ingredients in a bowl, mixed together with gusto, spread on a cookie sheet, and baked at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 20 minutes (maybe less? maybe more? sorry, I couldn’t tell ya. I have a baby.):
raw almond slices
raw chopped walnuts
raw blue agave nectar
Start by mixing the dry ingredients first. Add the oil and agave nectar as needed. There should be enough of the gooey liquid to coat all of the dry ingredients. The more oil and agave, the richer and [some would say] yummier. Adjust to your preferences. Maple syrup and honey are good alternatives to agave. Or you can rebel and add white or brown sugar, but I feel better about sweetening my granola with a less processed form of sugar. What do you use to sweeten your granola?
As the granola was cooling (and by the way, it will become more crunchy as it cools), I added raisins. I wished they were cranberries, but I could not find any unsweetened cranberries and I have a complex against buying sweetened fruit. It’s already sweet, people.
The result? An interestingly nutty, lightly sweet and crunchy granola. What was it missing? Cinnamon. I love cinnamon and I forgot it. Cinnamon gets my tongue all excited. Ginger would have added an interesting dimension as well. Next time I’ll try to focus on my baking project instead of my baby. If she’s asleep.
Granola is a tasty breakfast or snack that is high in fiber, protein, and good fats. Not as processed and far more satisfying than boxed breakfast cereals. I would choose freshly made granola over store-bought any day. Many bakeries will offer their own “homemade” granola, if you want to pay $5-$10 per pound. Save a buck and make your own, you may be surprised at how quick and easy it is. Best of all, you can customize according to your very own taste buds. And then you can join me as a granola connoisseur…
Have you ever made granola at home? How did it compare to store-bought granola? Any tips for granola making?