How to Make Granola
Granola is a fabulous breakfast food and snack our family enjoys a lot. Making granola is incredibly easy and is a great way to get children interested in cooking. The basic ingredients for granola are rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits and sweeteners. The girls decided to add puffed rice and bake-dried bananas. The little ones stirred the grain mixture and the big girls baked it until crispy.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers, but our family loves to eat. To satisfy our appetite between meals, we always have sweet or savory snack available in the kitchen. Granola makes a healthy and flavorful snack that everyone in the family enjoys. It’s packed with folic acid, which is especially beneficial for women. Plus, you can pack the granola in zip-top bags for your children's school snack or when you're on-the-go.
Yields: 1 (4-quart) container1-½ cups quick oats
1 tablespoon wheat germ
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses, for color
2 tablespoons raw honey
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-½ tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons flax seeds
¼ cup puffed rice
1 cup sliced almonds
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried fruits (see tips)
1 cup dried banana chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Brush a baking pan previously lined with parchment paper with a little oil.
In a deep, non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the oats and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously until slightly golden. Transfer to the baking pan.
In the same pan, combine the remaining oil, brown sugar, honey, molasses, salt, ground cinnamon, red chili powder (if used) and 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low. Stir until smooth. Turn off the heat. Add the vanilla extract and oats and toss until nicely coated and moistened.
Add the wheat germ, flax seeds, puffed rice and almonds. Stir well and transfer to the baking pan.
Bake for about 2-3 minutes. Open the oven, toss the granola around and rotate the baking pan for even baking. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Change your oven setting to broil for about 45 seconds until brown. Watch the granola carefully as it changes color very fast.
For crispy results, make sure the granola is completely dry.
Remove from the oven, add the dried fruits and allow to cool completely. The granola will get crunchier as it cools.
Once cooled completely, add the banana chips and store in an airtight container.
You could go with different flavor combinations such as sweetened coconut flakes, dried apricots, dried apples, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, other sorts of nuts and other spices.
I used a mix of dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries and golden raisins. You can find mixed packages of dried fruits at Trader Joe's.
Published By: on October 4, 2010.