Homemade granola is delicious, easy and relatively economical. My doctor recently ordered me to lower my cholesterol levels and one of the best ways to do that from a food perspective is to consume daily doses of oatmeal. Yuck is right. I tried eating oatmeal mush with just hot water and nearly upchucked. Then I realized oatmeal was a major part of granola and I actually liked granola. So here is my favorite granola recipe.
Granola’s history is rather interesting and worth at least one paragraph. In the mid-1800′s, Dr. Graham was encouraging people to eat well and he pushed a whole grain wheat flour (Graham flour) that eventually went on to become Graham Crackers. A few decades later a Dr. Jackson in New York used the graham flour in his concoction that he named Granula. Thousands of miles away in Michigan, Dr. Kellogg, practicing at a sanitarium, made a breakfast food made up of grains and called it Granula but was sued by the New York doctor and so he renamed his invention “Granola”. At this point granola did not achieve commercial success but Dr. Kellogg went on to invent corn flakes and the Kellogg company was born! Meanwhile, Charles Post had stayed at the sanitarium where Kellogg practiced and he went on to develop a product called Grape Nuts similar to Granula. Isn’t that amazing??? Graham = graham crackers, Kellogg = the Kellogg Cereal Empire, Post = Post Cereal Company. Please go to the Food Reference Website (foodreference.com) for the full history.
This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten with some of my personal tweaks included. Most of the ingredients are available in Manila and if not, suggested substitutes work rather well. Ingredients list follows and I have included my sources:
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Quaker Oats good, but not the instant version) – all large groceries
2 cups dessicated coconut (sweetened) – grocery
1 ½ cups sliced blanched almonds – Go Nuts stands in major malls or Santis
¾ cup of vegetable oil (I use Wesson) – grocery
½ cup + some more, good honey – grocery
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried figs – grocery or Santis
1 cup dried apricots – grocery
1 cup dried cranberries – Landmark grocery
Heat your oven up to 330-350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl mix the oats, dessicated coconut, almonds and walnuts until well blended. In a separate bowl blend the oil and honey then pour into the oats mixture. Mix very well and put in a foil-lined cookie sheet and spread evenly. Put in oven and stir after 10 minutes. Watch very carefully and stir once more. Cook until a nice even golden brown. Do not overcook or it will get bitter. Depending on your oven, this could take 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Chop the dried fruit and mix into the oats mixture. Store in an airtight container and there is no need to refrigerate. Serve with milk or yogurt. If you can’t find some of the dried fruits suggested you can also use dried mango, pineapple, etc. And I also sometimes put some candied pili nuts. This is really a yummy and healthy breakfast food. And so satisfying to think you made it yourself with stuff available in Manila’s markets or food stores.