Granola, delicious enough to eat everyday and easy enough for even the most inexperienced cook to make. Sign me up!
If you’re a fan of cooking (or even eating!), you’ll know that it’s pretty much a series of formulas, this + that = this delicious dish. Luckily, unlike actual baking, nothing is as entry level as the formulas involved in making your own granola. Meaning that not only is make it pretty simple, granola is the type of dish that you can experiment with and have some fun without too much risk of completely stuffing it up… Unless you burn it! Add to it the fact that store bought granola is often expensive and can be packed with preservatives or sugars, there’s so much reason to make your own.
The Ultimate Granola Formula
If you’ve been reading here for a while you’ll know that I like to make lots of different granola flavours, and in truth the options are pretty much limitless. So I thought it would be fun to put together the ultimate granola guide – showing you just how easy it is to get creative in the kitchen. Below we’ve shared the broad formula for making your own version(s), and in general these ratios will suit any type of granola you make. However, you can also mix it up (pardon the pun!). For example you can substitute a cup of base for more dried fruit or nuts if you like extra texture or prefer less.
3 Cups of Base Start with a simple base like oats or buckwheat groats, which will act as a (delicious flavour absorbing) platform for all the other ingredients, and also beef up your granola so you can make some of those more expensive ingredients go further. If you prefer to use chopped nuts as the base instead you can do this too (that makes it a more paleo friendly option).
1 Cup of Nuts/Seeds Choose a single type of nuts or mix a few different varieties together. Nuts will give your granola some crunch as well as a little more protein, meaning it will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Half a cup of Dried Fruit Dried fruit will give you a delicious chewiness as well a bit of sweetness. When choosing dried fruit, make sure to check whether it has any added sugar or sulphides, both things you want to avoid if you can.
Half a cup of fibre When most people think of fibre they think of it being something we eat when we’re older to keep ourselves regular. And while yes, it is good for that, in reality fibre is so (so!) much more… In fact it’s the fuel your gut needs to feed all that good bacteria. So eating fibre is key to feeling good, and I like to get as much as I can. Granola is the perfect place to hide a bit of your daily fibre, by adding psyllium husk or chia seeds.
One Tablespoon of Spice This is where you can get creative with the flavour of your granola, and also add in some healthy spices that are both warming and good for you. You can add more than a tablespoon if you want to!
A quarter cup of Sweetness A touch of sweetness will make your granola extra delicious, and if you use the sweeteners listed below you’ll find they has a more subtle flavour than sugar. You can also skip the added sweetness if you’re not into it.
A quarter cup of Oil Finally, the addition of a bit of fat/oil will help you combine the ingredients and aid in making it crunchy once baked.
Once you’ve combined all the ingredients, place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes on medium heat (around 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit), taking it out and mixing it up half way through. Once it is golden brown, remove from the oven and let it cool, then transfer to an airtight jar – it will keep for 2 -3 weeks in a cool place in your cupboard.
The main risk when making your granola is burning it – because of the natural oils in the ingredients as well as the additional butter or fat, it does have a tendency to burn quickly in the oven. In addition, whilst it might not look that crunchy while cooking, once it cools it gets that yummy crunch, so don’t be tempted to overdo the cooking time if you’re in doubt. And make sure to keep an eye on it and pull it out as soon as it starts to turn golden brown, because oven temps can differ a little.
The final stage of the granola process is… eating it! This is when you can get creative with colourful healthy additions like fruit, yogurts, edible flowers and anything else your heart desires. Go forth and make/eat/revel in granola!
Illustration by Natalie Ong.
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