Bake Along #104 – Granola
Well, you need to trust me. These are not caramel popcorns . Occasionally, yet frequently, and as confused intervals possible I jump into the diet mode and I begin them with having granola for my breakfast. With so much of sweet tooth, I always pick up the honey flavor and sometimes I even add sugar to the hot milk, relish a whole bowl of wholesome food and consider I am on a diet
And so here it is honey with all possible ingredients that can go into the making of granola and those that I could hunt in my near by super market. I loved the whole process of making, seems very satisfying and when the wholesome food gets packed in lovely jars making some gifts for the season.
There is no restriction to the quantity of each ingredient and also to what ingredient can make your granola. That is the fun part. You could have choices for your health factor and also for your taste quotient. That is why, home made granola are far better than picking them from the ready counters.
The main ingredient here is often oats, if they are old fashioned rolled oats, the better. Other whole grains such as barley, bajra combine well. Really crunchy grains like jowar, ragi may add to extensive crunchiness, you can add them depending on your liking.
All the nuts add up so well, like the pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistas. The seeds like, pumpkin seeds, cucumber seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds are another choice of additions.
Finally we have the dried fruits like the raisins, cranberries, apricots, figs etc. Optionally we can also add chocolate chips . Here dried fruits and chocolates if adding needs to be added to the granola after the rest of the ingredients are baked. Dried fruits and chocolate should not be added before baking. As an added factor you could also add cocoa powder finally before mixing and packing.
The binder is usually a sticky sauce, maple syrup and honey are great. They add to the sweetness quotient and the quantity depends on how much sweet you like your granola. If you are like me, then you will have this lovely colour and you can feel so proud about it
You can also try adding, condensed milk, flavored syrup like the strawberry syrup, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup etc to play around with flavors. But a sticky sauce is essential to bind all the ingredients together.
Adding sugar is not a great idea, not even the brown sugars.
You could also spice them up using cinnamon, dry ginger powder, cardamom, vanilla etc.
Salt is an essential ingredient, that peps up all the flavors. Do not omit it.
While choosing your ingredients, you cannot choose to adding every ingredient that you might find into your one batch of granola. You have to categorize that not too many ingredients fall into one batch, rather you could make few other varieties by having different sets of ingredients in each batch. For example, Rolled oats, bajra, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, raisins and dried cherries with honey as one batch. Rolled oats, barley, flaxseeds, walnuts, pecans, blackcurrants, dried blueberries with maple syrup as another batch. Rolled oats, dried corn, pumpkin seeds, cashews, pistas, citrus fruit peels, dried strawberries with condensed milk as another. Fascinating it sounds, isn’t it ??
( These are what I have used to make mine, go wild, make your own choices of ingredients)
- Rolled oats – 2 cups
- Bajra – 1 cup
- Barley – 1 cup
- Cashews – 1/3 cup
- Almonds – 1/3 cup
- Walnuts – 1/3 cup
- Pumpkin seeds – 1/3 cup
- Chironji seeds – 1/3 cup ( Found it in the supermarket during my shopping and just picked it up )
- Honey – 250 gms
- Salt – 1 tablespoon
1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degree C. Line up a baking tray with butter paper or silicon mat. Chop the nuts into small pieces. Keep the other ingredients measured.
2. Add oats into a big bowl.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl along with oats. Stir up well and get all of them mixed thoroughly.
4. Pour honey over the ingredients.
5. Stir it up well until everything is coated well with honey.
6. Spread it over the prepared baking sheet and bake in pre-heated for 30 to 40 minutes.
7. Open oven after 15 minutes of baking, take the tray out and fold it up thoroughly and then re spread it over the tray and continue baking for the rest of the time.
8. Just watch over the granola that they do not burn. Once you have them golden brown, remove from oven and cool on wire rack. They might seem to be soft while they are hot, but they will become crunchy after it has cooled down completely.
Break them into manageable pieces using your hands. Store them in airtight jars. Glass jars make a lovely presentation. If you are looking at making granola bars, you need to tightly pack them into a cake tin which is lined with butter paper all sides and bottom. Do not stir taking it out in between the baking time. Once its completely baked, cut into squares or rectangle pieces. Wrap them into cute little gifts.
I can’t wait to try another version of my granola. Looking forward to my tomorrow, to dump a hand full of these into some yum milk, probably no sugar this time, I have enough of honey I guess