We used to make homemade granola every week in Ottawa. This is a crunchy, unsweetened granola with a satisfying variety of textures and tastes – and it can be altered to meet your own tastes, or as ingredients change with the seasons. We haven't made it for over two years now, since moving to Budapest. The excuse is the same as ever: the ingredients here are expensive and hard to find. But, following another week of homemade cinnamon buns for breakfast, I put my foot down: cinnamon buns are a dessert food for me, not a breakfast food. (Yes, they taste fantastic – they will continue to make regular appearances in our kitchen, but hopefully not before 10 AM.)
With a more open mind, Budapest has proven mostly amenable to my homemade granola. I've had to give up on my four different grains, as well as on wheat germ. But the dried fruit and nuts were more than satisfactory (if expensive), and the result is fabulous: now I remember why I like this granola so much. It is crunchy and textured; it stands up to the milk and doesn't become soggy; it is bursting with flavor and color.
What you need:
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 cups rolled grains (oats, barley, spelt, rye, etc.)
- 1-2 cups nuts (chopped into pieces if you like) (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, etc.)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
- up to 1/2 cup seeds (optional) (sesame, flax, etc.)
- 1-2 cups dried fruit (chopped as you like) (raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dates, dried apples, etc.)
What you do:
- Heat the oven to 300.
- Pour the oil into a 9 x 13 baking pan. Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until good and hot.
- Add the rolled grains to the pan and stir. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the nuts, wheat germ and seeds to the pan and stir. Bake for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove pan from oven and add the dried fruit. Stir and let cool.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.