I’ve been having a tough time transitioning from travel life to life back at home. Going from the excitement and constant barrage of new experiences everyday, to a relatively stable and routine life at home takes some time to adjust to. It doesn’t help that I’m having a tough time finding work here either (especially compared to the UK where jobs were basically being thrown at me). I’ve found my solace in the kitchen though – my happy place. One of the easiest and most comforting things I’m making on the regular is granola.
Not only is granola the perfect infusion of slightly sweet crunch on top of almost any food you can imagine, it fills your home with the most delicious nutty aroma when you bake it. Granola can be put together, baked, and out of the oven in less than 30 minutes. The ingredients used are likely already in your pantry and can be a good way of using up leftover nuts and seeds. What I’m trying to get at is: Why is there such a huge market for over-priced, fancy granolas?
If you find yourself shelling out your hard earned moola for a bag of beautifully packaged, artisanal granola every week… here are a few more reasons to convince you to try the homemade granola method:
- Homemade granola is healthier. Especially compared to supermarket varieties laden with sugar and fat, you can control the amount of sugar and fat (and what kind you use) when baking granola at home. There’s a common assumption that granola is a health food and you can eat mountains of it, but that isn’t the case most of the time. At least when you make granola at home you’re aware of what went into it, and can conceivably stop yourself from shovelling handful after handful into your mouth while watching The Walking Dead (we all have our hangups right?).
- Homemade granola is cheaper. The cost of buying a bag of granola every week can rack up over time. Staple granola ingredients like oats, oil, and honey are probably already in your pantry. There’s no need to go overboard and buy expensive nuts either. Use what you’ve got, watch for sales, and buy in bulk. You’ll definitely save at least a few dollars per batch of granola.
- Homemade granola is more versatile. The are no limits! You don’t like almonds? No problem. Nut allergies? No problem. Go ahead and create your own proprietary blend of granola. Play around with the recipe to find a combination of ingredients that makes you smile with satisfaction each time you reach for your granola jar.
Hopefully you’re already preheating your oven and getting ready to whip-up a batch of delicious homemade granola. In my most recent batch I used 1/4 cup each of chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and coconut (the coconut looks different because I shaved the meat from a fresh coconut). Get creative and have fun with this recipe!
Granola’s best friends:
- yoghurt (of course)
- porridge (crunchy oats on top of cooked oats – nothing better)
- smoothie bowls (add on top of your fave smoothie for an extra boost)
- stewed fruit (create a deconstructed “crisp” by sprinkling granola overtop and maybe a scoop of ice cream)
- pancakes, waffles, and french toast (a dusting of granola really ups the game of these breakfast items)
- warm milk (such a good wintertime treat)
And, my mind’s just been blown… I just discovered you can make savoury granola. But more about that in a later post.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your favourite granola combinations in the comments below.
Healthy Homemade Granola
- 3 cups oats (large flake or porridge oats will do)
- 1 cup mixed nuts and seeds (choose your own combination)
- 1/3 cup warmed honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup mild tasting oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup dried fruit (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Stir together all ingredients, except dried fruit, in a large bowl.
- Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread granola mixture evenly overtop.
- Bake in centre of oven for 7-10 minutes, until the granola at the edge of the sheet starts to brown. Take granola out of oven and stir. Place back in oven for another 5-7 minutes, taking the granola out again to stir. Place in oven one last time, about 5 minutes. The granola should be a light golden colour.
- Stir dried fruit into granola mixture just after you've taken it out of the oven. Good additions include: raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots or dates.
- Allow granola to cool at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.