Thursday, October 01, 2009

Home-made Granola Mix

Dear foodies,

It's Fall already! And the weather outside isn't the poetic nip in the air' kind, its the kind that sends you rummaging deep into your closet for that heavy winter coat! The leaves have been changing color really fast, and I cannot wait for the rain to stop, so I can go out with my camera. Now the dear camera has been on a long rest, no recent dinners or lunches were offered to it first, instead it sat, neatly tucked in its bag. With the last weekend being a little cold I wanted to make amends, and bake something special. Most blogs I visited were serving bowls of delicious roasted stone fruit and muffins with cinnamon and spices....all of them ushering in the new season and the warm flavors it brings with it.

My apartment though was filled with the warm fragrance of vanilla and roasted nuts. For the longest time I've been planning to make my own granola mix/bars. I get a mini snack attack at 3 in the afternoon, and having something healthy and crunchy scores high. I tried making granola bars once, but failed miserably. I really don't know how I managed to do that! So I decided to made my own granola mix this weekend, and it really is one of the easiest things you can make, and one of the best too. I was soo excited after the first taste that I've put them on my Christmas gift list for friends. Its that good! You will want to share it with everyone you know....uh, or may be not, after the second bite...

Apart from being easy to make, you are also in full control. I usually have atleast one kind of nut or fruit that I don't like in the store bought granola mix. Most mixes either have too many peanuts & cashews or sun flower seeds. Now, I like these, but they need to be balanced with the rest. At home though, I am the boss. I can choose the quality of ingredients that go into it, the quantity and also the combination of flavors. The recipe below is more a method for you to experiment with, my only request will be that you come back and share your combination with me :-)

I shopped for all the ingredients at our local organic store which has a pretty good bulk section. For recipes such as this that need a long list of ingredients, but in small quantities, the bulk bin is your friend. You can buy small amounts of a variety of nuts and still not spend a fortune. I used hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans (my current fav), dried cherries and plump golden raisins. Almonds were a huge favorite in most of the recipes I found online, so while digging deep into my refrigerator looking for them, I found a bag of ruby red Goji berries instead! Looking thru the refrigerator is almost like a treasure hunt sometimes ;-) Most recipes also used Wheat germ, I could barely recollect that at the store. I found some Wheat bran next to the flax seed I was buying and so got some of it too. Wheat bran is the outer cover of the wheat kernel and is a source of magnesium and iron, about a quarter cup also has about 6gms of fiber. Some wild flower honey, and locally made maple syrup added the sweetness to the enticing mix.

Bejeweled!
Home-made Granola mix
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups - old fashioned Rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup each (unsalted)- Walnuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts - coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup - Wheat bran
  • 2 Tbsp - Flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup each (packed) - dried Cherries, plump Golden raisins - coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup - Goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp - Butter
  • 2 Tbsp - Oil (I had olive oil, but any vegetable oil works too)
  • 2 Tbsp - *Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp - *Honey
  • 1/2 tsp - pure Vanilla extract
Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325F
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter, oil, honey and maple syrup. Microwave for a minute and whisk them all together. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the oats, chopped nuts, flax seed and wheat bran. Slowly add the liquid mix and combine with your hand, coating all the ingredients. Use just enough of the liquid mix to help form a rough ball of the mixture when held firmly within your fist.
  4. Spread the mix evenly on the baking sheet and place in the center rack of the oven. Bake for 25-30 mins, flipping it every 10mins.
  5. The nuts will soon fill the kitchen with the smells of their roasted goodness, and the oats will turn a slight orange-brown color. Bring the baking tray out, mix the chopped dried fruits and allow to cool. The oats will not appear to be crunchy when brought out of the oven, but they will get there on cooling.
  6. Store in an clean and dry air tight container for upto 2 weeks, it won't last that long though :-))
Notes: * You can also use a combination of brown sugar and honey for sweetening the mix. Add the sugar while microwaving the rest, so it melts into liquid mix. or simply use only honey or maple syrup, instead of both.
Any combination of nuts and dried fruits can be used. I added some chopped crystalized ginger to a tiny portion. Dried apricots, papaya, mango, pineapple, candied orange peel, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios.....this list is endless!
If using dates or prunes add them during the final 5mins of baking time to dry them out a bit. Or the moisture in them could soften the oats during storage.
You can also add a tsp of cinnamon or ground cloves or nutmeg to spice things up a bit.
The smell of warm vanilla and the nuts that was filling the kitchen while baking the granola, is in itself a great reason to make this at home! Seriously! I was amazed by how good this turned out. the chunks of nuts and fruits were a delight to bite into. I have been eating it not just at 3 in the afternoon, but at every excuse I can find to get into the kitchen. I have a bag of it in my desk at work too. When I looked at the amount of granola I had, I expected it to last a few weeks, but I might have to make another batch this weekend. The honey and maple syrup on their own do not contribute to the needed sweetness, its the dried fruit added at the end that complete it. The raisins and cherries I used were tart and sweet and along with the chunks of nuts and crispy oats, you will not want to stop munchin & crunchin. I purposely left the nuts in bigger chunks so you can taste the individual flavors when biting into them. The butter and oil help in crisping the oats, you could substitute the quantity with either one too.

You can top some on your yogurt or cooked oats porridge for breakfast, or eat them as is for a snack. While baking the granola I also tossed in a few bowls of chopped plums and apricot drizzled with a little of the extra liquid mix I had, into the oven. After the oats were out, I let them roast for an additional 10 mins. Out they came oozing out all their sweet juices, topped with some of the fresh granola it was a perfect end to the cold weekend :) Happy Fall season!

37 thoughts:

s said...

the perfect breakfast...i just HAVE to make these

Sharmilee! :) said...

Luv the new header with the fall leaves!

Indhu said...

that's some yummy granola... you know what? I have been making a very similar version for a long time now... I add wheat germ instead of wheat bran... I should post mine sometime :)

Vani said...

Shortest summer ever and then a fall that is more like winter - ai ai!!
Love the granola.

meeso said...

That's so healthy and easy... and so much tastier than store bought :)

Sonu said...

Wow...another gr8 header with fresh look! Love the home-made granola. It's been in my list since ages...but postponing. :) Please don't take any BREAK now ;) wanna more recipes and pics. :)

Soma said...

I have everything other than the oven:-) you place is singing Fall Priya.. So beautifully done. we are far from fall here, but we are getting lots of rain & the temperature cooled down to the 70s:-D Love it. we are raiding the bins of the whole food every week & getting goodies back home, I get so tempted that i feel like getting all of it. but haven't found goji berries yet.

Feed that camera Priya, both of you together do a fantastic job. what a treat!

Pavani said...

That looks healthy and delicious. Would be just perfect on my swiss oats in winter. I just getting nervous abt winter already, it started off on such a high note.. Have a great weekend.

Priya said...

Nothing with beat this delicious easy and healthy granola that too home made...looks prefect!

Nags said...

i am not a granola/muesli fan but they are just so pretty and photogenic, aren't they?

Nirmala said...

Wow lovely post and you have warmed up the weather with u're writing style Priya. I had made granola from bakingbites.com but having all the healthy and tasty stuff like idlis, pongal, upma kind this is not sold at home as I expected. Might be suitable if we go outside India! Have fun!

BDSN said...

Beautiful pics and after a breakfast like that it is sure the healthy start to an energitic day!!!

Priya said...


S, Yes, you should! :-)

Sharmilee, thank you :) I got bored of the older look and wanted to change things up a bit.

Indhu, You should post it up. I want to try a new combination the next time I make it. Is Wheat germ sold in bulk bins too ?

Vani, yes! it was a really weird year. We hardly touched 90's during the summer, and Fall is almost not gone already :(

Meeso, definitely better :) Do treat yourself to some too :)

Sonu, don't postpone it any longer. It will leave you wondering why you waited so long :) haan, breaks zyada hogaye yeh saal.

Priya said...


Soma, hehehe, you guys have it going good in TX. Enjoy my share of sunshine too :) My brother does not tire from telling me what the temp there is :( Yahan pe its cloudy, gloomy and cold...that's why the new blog design, just to change things up :) You can fine goji berries in the dry fruits section, not in the bulk bins. aur camera ko khoob khilaongi ab se :)

Pavani, yes, I did not expect temps to dip so low this early. Went shopping for new sweaters though :) I look forward to eating oats int he morning cos of this granola, so do give it a try :)

Priya, thank you :) the colorful fruits make it really pretty, the ruby like goji berries specially.

Nags, Yes, they forced me to bring the camera out :D Next time I plan to add some yellow & orange too, with dried mango and papaya. Not sure if I'm doing it more for the taste or for how pretty they will look, win-win though :-P

Nirmala, I usually carry some dry fruits along with me when visit Hyd, after making this I thought I could make some granola this time. But like you said, it stands no chance against our tiffin varieties. I don't have a sweet tooth and it's tough for me to have the sugary cereals and oats in the morning, but I'm too lazy to make anything else. You could make some as a snack during outings or for the evening.

BDSN, I had breakfast every single day of this week cos of the granola :-)Its nice to see you here, and blogging again :) how is the little one doing ?

RV said...

Beautiful clicks Priya.. They look delish...

Veggie Belly said...

I've always wanted to make home made granola. Love the goji berries in this. And what gorgeous pics! Its been cold and rainy here in VA too :(

Supriya said...

Looks delish..I have been wanting to try this recipe for ever now..will try it this weekend. Thanks for sharing it!

Tina said...

Home made granola mix looks perfect and healthy....

Bong Mom said...

Love the Fall look on your blog, though am dreading winter. Granola mix suits the season

Anupama said...

Love Granola, and yours looks simply delicious and wholesome

Nandini Vishwanath said...

I love granola too! I'm thinking some candied orange or ginger? Or some lime/lemon zest to make it zingy ( is that a word?) And some dried cranberries?

Ooh,all this makes me want to make it!

Mythreyi Dilip said...

Perfect and healthy breakfast!

Mythreyi Dilip said...

Happy diwali to you and your family dear Priya, may this diwali light up your life with prosperity and lots of happiness!!!

Mansi said...

Happy Diwali to you Priya! and I'd also like to invite you to dish out something sweet for the Sweet celebrations event on my blog if you can!:)

Kishore said...

I saw your blog when my friend Harini posted the link on FB. I like your recipes, more than that I am simply blown away by the photographs. Who clicks them?.. Its an absolute visual treat to watch all your recipes.

Savithri said...

Looks delicious! I love granola. Your photography is beautiful:)

Hb said...

I'm glad I came across ur blog. I am already a huge fan of ur photography skills.

Michal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nirmala said...

Priya where have u disappeared? Hope all is well in your side!

Lavani said...

Priya , I have been following your blog for a long time , 2 years ..?!!Love your Rava laddu recipe. Finally decided to food blog - please do drop by :
http://mokshacook.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

hi priya
what happened?! quite a looooooong gap. missing ur receipes and excellent photos. come on.

Aruna Manikandan said...

Hi Priya,
First time here.....

Congratulations on ur blog being nominated in Indibloggers....

Granola Mix looks colourful and healthy too..

Love to follow ur blog

with luv,
ArunaManikandan
http://ensamayalkuripugal.blogspot.com

Balakrishna Saraswathy said...

Perfect BF ..very informative blog with tasty recipe...

KrsnaBhojana said...

Hi,
The name of ur site made me to stop..Ur recipes looks very nice and yummy..Nice pictures..

pelicano said...

Wow- looks beautiful and heavenly- will be trying!

Ramya Manja said...

Awesome Blog,u definitely deserve an appreciation....superb balance of color,amazing photography,delicious recipe's......keep going!!!

Fathima said...

love granola mix... this looks good... following u now..

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