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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Granola Like Crazy

Granola is one of my favourite foods in the world, you can make so many varieties and it's a brilliantly healthy snack.

Not only is is incredibly easy, but you can make it with ingredients found deep in the caves of your pantry. Your basic ingredients are 1 part warm water and 3 parts oats. For example I use 1 cup of warm water with 3 cups of oats, then I load it up with whatever extra ingredients I feel like.

Examples of wonderful Granola ingredients are:
Dried Cranberries
Flaked Almonds
Dried fruits
Chia seeds
Sugar free chocolate spread (melted)
Peanut butter
The combination I'm using today is honey, dried cranberries, coconut, chia seeds and flaked almonds, keeping it simple this week.
Simply put everything into a bowl, mix it up, lay it out on a baking tray and put it into the oven at 180 degrees.
It'll take about 10-15 minutes for your granola to be golden brown, I like to take it out of the oven and sprinkle it up to keep it loose every 5 minutes.

What on earth am I supposed to do with it now?
  • Granola is a great breakfast cereal, I serve mine with a little orange juice poured over it but you could use milk if you prefer.
  • I love a fruit salad with granola and greek yogurt as a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Use sweet granola as a sprinkle over your muffins and cupcakes before baking them, this keeps them interesting without the need for icing.
  • Layer Granola, Yogurt and Strawberries for a delicious dessert.
  • To make Granola Bars to eat on the run, simple press the ingredients into a smaller baking pan rather than sprinkling it. Bake it for about 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees.
  • Add some protein powder to the mix and roll it the mixture into bite sized balls for a quick power-pick-me-up during the day
  • Adding a couple of tablespoons of wholemeal flour (or rice flour) and an egg can quickly turn granola into a cookie dough. Just make sure it's well flavoured and then bake as cookies.
  • If you're using ingredients such as honey, sugar-free chocolate or peanut butter, melting the ingredients in the microwave first will help them mix through more evenly.
  • If you like a sweeter granola, disolve a teaspoon of Stevia in the warm water before adding other ingredients.
  • Store your Granola in an air tight container to keep it fresh for up to a week.

Let me know if you give it a try, I'd love to know what combinations you come up with!

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