Friday, November 19, 2010

Homemade Granola (Vegan)

Well, it's not like I'm stingy or tight-fisted or anything...  but when I saw the price of the granola on the supermarket shelf the other day, I thought 'There is no way I am paying all that hardearned cash' for what is basically baked oats !!!

I had a vague inkling of how to make it, it's a little bit like a flapjack recipe actually. You need oats, any sort of fruits and nuts and a binding sweetner, choose honey, maple syrup, normal syrup and you also need a little bit of oil or butter.

I looked at my book shelves for a 'proper' recipe, and would you believe that out of all of these books, not one of them contained a recipe for granola. Shameful !

So, onto the computer and there I found this wonderful recipe within two seconds flat ! (I still love my cook books tho.)

Crunchy, nutty granola is just what I was looking to make. Perfect. As usual, I tweaked the recipe to match what I had available.

This is what I did, my mods are in brackets.

125g PURE soy margarine (one of my favourites, this)
150ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g oat flakes (I used cheap muesli and picked out the fruit(!))
100g flaked almonds (I didn't have any of the below nuts so I used 200g of chopped walnuts instead)
100g chopped cashew nuts
100g desiccated coconut
100g pumpkin seeds (I used 200g as I was missing nuts and sunflower seeds)
100g sunflower seeds (I didn't have any of these...)

200-300g mixed dried fruit, such as chopped pitted dates, figs, apricots, raisins, sultanas
I used sultanas, chopped dried apricots, and chopped dates. I think the whole lot came to about 250g. You can kind of tell by looking how much you need, oh and also the dusty dried fruit from out of the muesli (waste not, want not :o))

Here is the lovely recipe method below with pictures interspersed.


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Place the margarine, maple syrup and vanilla in a small pan, and put over a gentle heat to melt together.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the dried fruit, in a large bowl. Stir in the melted margarine mixture and mix well. Spread out in a large roasting tray and bake for 25 minutes, or until the nuts and grains are a pale golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes so it browns evenly. Note that if you do put the fruit in it will cook the moisture out of the fruit and will render it into to 'Bitter Bullets' so don't do it, as it tastes yuk ! (A bit like the 'overdone' bit on a Christmas Cake...)

3. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool, stirring the mixture in the tray occasionally. (If you transfer it to a bowl while it’s still warm, it will go soggy.)

When it has cooled down, add the dried fruit, stir, and put into an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to a month.

Here it is with the fruit added ...

.. and now in the jar :

I had this for breakfast this morning, and it was delicious ! As you can see it fills quite a large jar. Do be careful and literally check it every five minutes as it can suddenly be ready very quickly. Enjoy !

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