Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Good-For-You Granola

Firstly, let's get this out of the way ... Is granola good for you?? Answer: It can be great for you!  Containing slow release carbohydrates (oats) and protein (nut and seeds), the one thing to watch out for is that like most cereals, some brands contain a lot of sugar. Granola is not low fat by any means, but the fats it does have are good fats like nuts. It is a very healthful food that keeps you full for ages. However, if you are on a low-fat diet, please look away now and return to your bowl of Special K.

I've loved granola since I was introduced to it in Canada several years ago, and I still eat it like I ate it then; with yoghurt. My current favourite lunch is a bowl of blueberries, topped with Onken wholegrain strawberry yoghurt and a layer of granola on the top ... yum! Before the last couple of years, there weren't many brands of granola available to buy in supermarkets in the UK though that looks to be changing. Dorset Cereals have had Honey Granola for a while and have now introduced three new new granola flavours; Marmalade, Chocolate and Chocolate Granola and Macadamia nuts. I recently tried the Chocolate and Macadamia nuts flavour and I wasn't too impressed. Their honey granola is good though; almost as good as mine ;p I also liked a granola by 'Lizi's Good Carb Company'.
However, after deciding to look up a recipe and try making it about a year ago, I only buy granola when I can't be bothered to make my own which is a silly excuse since it is very easy to make! I've only tried this BBC Good Food recipe and it's so good, I literally have to stop myself just snacking on it. Especially when it has just come out of the oven as it smells heavenly!

The great thing about this recipe - or any granola recipe, I imagine - is that you can pick and choose what goes into it according to your preferences. I, for example, don't put dried berries or any fruit for that matter in my granola (Hey, hey, hey! Don't judge me. Like I said, my granola usually tops a huge bowl of blueberries that is two portions of my 5-a-day thank you very much :D) But I've discovered that pecans taste INCREDIBLE in it so I usually just replace the flaked almonds and dried berries with pecans. And I always throw in a few handfuls of flax seed or linseed (even though they're more or less the same thing) for good measure and it doesn't alter the taste one bit! While I love it with vanilla extract like the BBC recipe, I recently made a batch replacing the vanilla with nutmeg and cinammon and that was fab too. And I intend to plagiarise from Dorset cereals and try making it with marmalade some day :D It's pretty much win win win!

As somewhat of a seasoned making-my-own-granola-from-this-recipe pro, here are a couple of tips to guide you newbies on your way:
Honey/Maple syrup/sunflower oil/vanilla 
 1) You'll need to at least double the cooking time in   the recipe. Stir every 15 minutes and aim for it to be crunchy but not browned.
 2) I recommend making twice the recipe as you'll get through it very quickly's that tasty! Cook in two batches if you do this.
 3) If adding dried fruit, leave it till the last 15 minutes and add it with the coconut or else it goes quite hard and gummy.

Happy granola making and eating!


Suzanne Brume said...

Yay! My recipe! You won't get out of physically teaching me
I didn't know yous had a blog! Nice.

simplychic said...

as easy as it is, i never thought of homemade granola. looks yummy!

Ms Afropolitan said...

Home made granola! I am impressed. Looks delicious.

So you mean eating a huge bowl of granola every morning is not necessarily a way to loose weight??
As part Scandinavian, I see this as blasphemous.
Lol, thanks for sharing that actually. I didn't realise that the fat count is quite high

1511th said...

Wow! You make your own granola bars? You are too good!

Chic Therapy said...

cant believe you make your own granola .I wish i had the patience to try new recipes and cook stuff