Easy, crisp, homemade granola
Crunchy and just sweet enough, this is a power cereal you can make yourself.
Granola was introduced to Israel about 30 years ago. It was first regarded as a health food, but it didn’t take long to become a recognized and appreciated element of the national food scene.
Now we can choose between many granola brands in the supermarket (and health food stores). It’s an infinitely healthier and more attractive option than cornflakes, full of energy-making nutrition.
I love making granola because I can control the amounts of fats and sweeteners in it. And I love the aroma that lingers in the house; oats baking with honey, cinnamon and butter … the kind of sweet, comforting smell that must have tempted Hansel and Gretel to step a little further out of the woods and into the gingerbread house.
I like changing the basic recipe to suit my mood or to use up ingredients lurking in the pantry. Here, I’ve chosen butter for crispness and coconut oil for lightness. You may prefer to use all oil, or another oil altogether.
That’s the neat thing about granola. You can vary most of the ingredients to your taste. Granola is great with dried cherries, chopped dates, flax seeds, chia, pecans – you name it. You can also substitute 1/2 cup wheat germ for an equal part of the rolled oats. If you prefer brown sugar or maple syrup to honey, make the change. Once you know that the basic ingredient is the oats, you can change everything else with confidence. Just keep the proportions more or less the same.
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds and walnuts, or only one of each
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or a mix of each
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries or chopped dried apricots
For the dry mixture:
For the wet mixture:
Preheat oven to 300° F (150° C).
Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Put the rolled oats, salt, cinnamon, nuts, coconut flakes and seeds in a large bowl.
Spoon the honey into a small saucepan and add the coconut oil, butter and vanilla extract. Stir over low heat until everything is dissolved and blended, about 2 minutes.
Mix the wet ingredients into the oat mixture, making sure the all dry ingredients are well covered with the wet. Cover the baking parchment with an even layer of the raw granola mixture.
Bake 10 minutes, then remove the granola from the oven and stir it all well. Take special care to stir the edges into the middle, because the edges tend to cook faster. Return the tray to the oven and bake another 10 minutes, until the granola is golden brown.
Stir the granola well upon finishing baking and put the tray to cool on a rack. The granola will continue crisping while it cools. Wait until it’s totally cool before adding the dried fruit, then mix it in.
Store in a jar or other airtight container, in the refrigerator.
TIPS AND NOTES:
For the best and healthiest granola, make sure to use 100% rolled oats, never instant or quick-cooking oatmeal.
For an Israeli touch, substitute silan date honey for bee’s honey. It adds sweetness without cloying. You can find date honey (also called date molasses or date syrup) in Mediterranean food stores.