Have you ever had one of those days where nothing turns out according to plan because of the surprises life throws at you? Well, this morning was one of those mornings. I had intended to sleep in today after a very hectic weekend, but no… my neighbour decided to repair his roof. Since the incessant loud hammering kept me from my first plan, I decided I’d take a nice long run in the park and expand some calories before I put them all back later at a French lunch and Japanese buffet dinner. I got into my running attire, laced up my shoes and headed out thinking this is such a great day for running! The sun was hidden behind the clouds so it was cool and breezy instead of blazing hot. Barely 50 metres later, it started to rain. And here in Singapore, when it rains, it pours. So I immediately aborted my calorie-deficit mission and ran back home, embarrassed when I passed the waiting commuters at the bus stop since they saw me walk across and run back… in less than 3 minutes. So what was a sleepy drenched girl trapped in a noisy house to do? Make granola. It wasn’t part of the plan for the morning… but at least it was one surprise I welcomed.
Granola is a mixture of old-fashioned rolled oats, dried fruit and nuts toasted with honey and oil. It was first invented in the late 19th century by Dr James Caleb Jackson in the US, who served his ‘granula’ at the health spa he owned. Dr John Harvey Kellogg then started to produce a similar cereal and trademarked it as ‘granola’. But granola didn’t really take off till the 1960s when the health food movement became popular with the hippies. Having granola with milk or yogurt for breakfast became the healthy alternative to the standard greasy American fare of sausages, bacon and eggs.
If you take a walk down the aisle of the local supermarket, you’ll find all the granola imported and expensive. It is cheaper to make your own homemade granola and much easier than you think! Plus, you get to customize it by adding your favourite fruits and nuts and not what some cereal company decides is good for you. This is a basic granola recipe that you can feel free to adjust the level of sweetness, increase/decrease the amount of nuts and dried fruit, add chocolate chips (I do!) etc…. go ahead and experiment, no one’s gonna judge you.
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
2 cups old-fashioned oats (use GF oats to make it gluten-free)
1/2 cup almond flakes
1 cup raw pecans/walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter (use oil to make it dairy-free)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup black raisins/cranberries
1/2 cup dried mangoes/apricots
1. Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C
2. Mix oats, nuts, seeds, brown sugar and cinnamon in large bowl.
3. Melt butter with honey in heavy small saucepan over low heat.
4. Pour over granola mixture and toss well. Spread out mixture on baking sheet.
5. Bake 20 minutes, then stir it up on the tray. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes or so until granola is golden brown.
6. Cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
p.s. fait maison is in the running for the Singapore Blog Awards 2013 Panasonic ‘ Best Cooking Blog! Pls pls pls support by casting your vote for me here. 🙂