28 Jan2005

Granola

by Marketman

Homemade granola is delicious, easy and relatively economical. gran1 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. gran2 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. gran3Store 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.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Vicky says:

    mascovado sugar is a healthy alternative to honey and much cheaper; thin, crunchy local banana chips, broken into smaller pieces is a good substitute for imported dried fruits; and lastly, soya milk is a delicious accompaniment to granola.

    Apr 26, 2005 | 8:59 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    Great suggestions, Vicky. I make a trail mix from totally local ingredients like kasuy, banana chips, dried mango, pili nuts, etc. and it’s an excellent snack or energy booster.

    Apr 28, 2005 | 5:26 am

     
  3. grace says:

    Hi. The recipe sounds lovely, I’m gonna try it. I have a question though.. How long will the granola keep? My husband ]doesn’t like anything with milk and I don’t want to be stuck eating it for weeks on end. Thanks

    Jun 22, 2005 | 4:38 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Grace, make only half the recipe to start. It should keep several weeks in a tightly capped bottle or can. I also recently made a batch and the slivered almonds price at Toby’s nuts have risen 50%! in the past two months so I tried it with some chopped walnuts I had in the fridge and they tasted good as well. I like to eat it with yogurt or skim milk for a healthy breakfast. Keep a close eye while you are baking, it can burn quickly. Enjoy!

    Jun 23, 2005 | 11:08 am

     
  5. stef says:

    the thing with granola (whether homemade or commercial) is that although it is healthier than other cereals, it still has the potential to be high in fat and sugar. my proportions are 6 cups old fashioned oats to 3/4 cup canola to 1/2 cup maple syrup (or other sweetener), and that has A LOT of oil in it — Laurel (of Laurel’s Kitchen, she’s one of the best vegetarian gurus out there) doesn’t use oil in her granola at all. add coarse-ground flaxseed and/or toasted wheat germ and you’ve got a real winner. the object of granola is to DRY it, not bake it, so 45 minutes or so works better for me. when coconut or other nuts are added, the nutritive value goes down quite a bit, and it turns into more of a dessert than a natural health food. just some food for thought:)

    Feb 12, 2007 | 7:00 pm

     
  6. Cathy says:

    This is the recipe I use. I usually put half and half cranberries/golden raisins. I like the fact that it has less fat and the brown sugar/honey giv it just the right amount of sweetness. It is delicious !

    Granola

    Serves/Makes: 7 cups

    Ingredients:
    4 cups old-fashioned oats
    1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 300 F. In a bowl mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in vanilla.

    Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand. Spread granola in a 15×10 inch baking pan.

    Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Stir in raisins or cranberries. Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

    Oct 2, 2008 | 6:33 am

     
  7. Cathy says:

    I also am NOT a milk drinker …so I eat my granola with plain non-fat yogurt. It is the best breakfast I have found in years…and love the fact that I can make it so easily!

    Oct 2, 2008 | 6:35 am

     
  8. deirdregurl says:

    hi marketman, i tried this over the weekend and ate it with yoghurt and another with milk. i personally like the one with yoghurt, it brings out the taste in the mix. btw, i tweaked your recipe to make it more filipino. i used kasuy, coated pili nuts, dried mangoes, dried pineapple, dried papaya, dried buko strips and some raisins—so fantastic! love it so much! thanks for the recipe :)

    Oct 27, 2008 | 2:23 pm

     
 

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