(note: due to technical reason this post had to be re-published)
Granola has won a lot of people recently. It is an ideal breakfast, but also a hearty and nutritious snack. It is a versatile blend of grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, dried fruit, a sweetener and some oil. Today we will see together how to make granola with what we have in our pantry.
Granola can be made with a whole kind of ingredients and combinations. It can also cover any dietary need or preference (vegan, paleo, glute-free, etc.). In breakfast it can be combined with yogurt or milk (any kind), buttermilk, kefir, and as a snack it can be eaten as it is.
Grains function as a base on which all other materials combine. Nuts and seeds give the crunchy element that gives credits to granola, but also protein to make it more fulfilling. Dried fruits contrast with nuts, giving softer textures and sweet taste. The fiber from the seeds helps the bowel function, while the spices are very warming.
The right proportion of materials is the secret to a successful granola whatever it contains. Sweet or savory, with or without fruits, with nuts or without, you name it; just follow these proportions and you will not be disappointed.
All ingredients mentioned are indicative to help you “build” your own combinations.
How to make Granola with what I have in my pantry
4 parts dry ingredients to 1 part liquid ingredients
Dry ingredients: (3 parts of cereal + 1 part nuts or seeds) + Liquid ingredients: (1/2 part oil + ½ -3/4 part sweetener)
Quantity: 3 cups
Grains: Oat flakes, rye flakes, barley flakes, wheat flakes, kamut, buckwheat flakes or groats, quinoa, millet, amaranth pops, etc.
Nuts and/or Seeds:
Quantity: 1 cup
Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia, etc.
Herbs – Spices – Extracts:
Quantity: 1-2 teaspoon dried spices and/or 1/8 to 1 teaspoon extract, depending on the type. For example, you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, but ¼ -1/2 teaspoon of almond extract because it is stronger.
Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, cocoa, espresso powder, and cayenne, smoked paprika, thyme, rosemary, curry, fennel etc. for savory granola.
Extracts: vanilla, almond, coconut, banana, rum, coffee, orange, chocolate, rose water, orange blossom water, etc.
Note: It is important to add ¾ -1 teaspoon of salt to your granola to enhance and balance flavors.
Quantity: ½ cup, depending on how sweet you want it. Of course, if you make savory granola the amount of sweetener should be significantly reduced.
Sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, molasses, coconut, grape syrup, etc.
Note: You can replace a part of the sweetener with sugar-free fruit puree, such as applesauce, pear puree, banana puree , etc.
Oils and Butter:
Quantity: ¼ – ½ cup
Oils & Butters: olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, nut oils, such as almond, hazelnut, sunflower oil, peanut oil, etc.
Dried Fruits (add them after you have baked the granola):
Quantity: 1 cup, depending on how sweet you want it
Dried fruits: blueberries, cranberries, sour cherries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, candied ginger, goji berries, sea buckthorn, pineapples, papaya, kiwi, pomegranate, figs, plums, dates, mango, apple, pear, apricot, banana. etc.
Some of the dried fruits need to be chopped before adding them.
Coconut: ½ cup coconut flakes, or 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
Citrus zest: add it in the liquid ingredients before mixing.
Cocoa: ¼ – ½ cup, which is added to the dry ingredients.
Cocoa Nibs or chocolate drops: as much as you want, adding as the granola is already baked and cooled.
Matcha tea: 2-3 teaspoons which is added after you bake the granola. Stir well.
- The more sweetener you put into the mix the more “clustered” the granola will come out. You can then break it into small or big pieces. Some like this kind of granola. If you want to do this, press down the raw mixture into the baking dish before baking it and do not stir it immediately after removing it from the oven, but allow it to cool and then break it in pieces. If you do not like clustered granola, stir well as soon as you remove it from the oven to break up the pieces that may have been created and reduce the sweetener slightly.
Many add a lightly beaten egg white when mixing the ingredients before baking. Makes granola more “cookie-like”.
- Do not be afraid to try different combinations of ingredients. Just keep the proportions and do not change the quantities. But you should have in mind that some sweeteners (like agave) are sweeter than others, so you have to adjust the amount.
- Do not overdo it in spices and extracts. Some of them are quite overpowering. For example, for a baking pan of granola ½ teaspoon of cinnamon is enough, whereas for stronger spices such as cardamom, cloves, etc. you should start with ¼ teaspoon. Also, some extracts like orange blossom water for example, are so strong that 1/8 teaspoon is plenty.
- The right baking temperature is important for the success of your granola. Bake at a temperature of 150-180 ° C, and mix often to make cooking and color.
- The time you add certain ingredients is also important. The nuts should be raw, so they can be roasted while the granola is baking. As we said above, dried fruit should be put into the mixture after baking.
5 ways to use granola:
- Make a yogurt parfait. Sprinkle ganola over your favorite kind of yogurt and add fresh fruits.
- Sprinkle granola on top of your favorite smoothie bowl.
- Add granola on top of a chia pudding.
- Eat as a healthy snack.
- Mix with homemade milk kefir, or, buttermilk.
If you have a favorite granola combo, or if you have something to add, please leave a comment.
Here are some granola ideas:
Mocha Chocolate Granola