Freelance writer and blogger. Visit my interior design blog at homeandheartaustralia.blogspot.com
Published January 30th 2011
Breakfast cereals are expensive these days, and one box doesn't seem to go far at all. It's also difficult to know what you're getting with supermarket cereal, as artificial flavours and preservatives are becoming more commonly added. So rather than eating what is essentially one big bowl of sugar for breakfast, I decided to have a go at making my own cereal - granola, to be exact. As opposed to its close cousin muesli, granola is toasted rather than served uncooked. It's really easy to make and fills the house with a wonderful smell. But best of all, it's delicious.
To start, lightly grease a large baking tray and preheat your oven to 180C. Spread two cups of rolled oats over the baking tray, along with ½ cup of desiccated coconut. Add a tablespoon of ground cinnamon, as well as about 1 ½ cups of mixed nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. Then add ½ cup of some mixed seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Give this dry mixture a good stir and then smooth it flat. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over it, and then add some golden syrup or honey. I have a sweet tooth so I like a generous amount of honey, but it's up to you how much you add.
Place the baking tray in your preheated oven and continue to stir it at regular intervals to maintain a loose consistency, making sure you smooth the mixture down again between stirs. While your granola is baking, roughly cut up 1 ½ cups of dried fruit. You can use any fruit you like, such as raisins or apricots, but my favourite is cranberries. After about thirty minutes, or once the granola is looking nice and golden, take it out of the oven and mix through your dried fruit. Let it cool and then store it in an airtight container.
Making your own granola is not only healthy and economical, but also lots of fun to make while experimenting with different kinds of seeds, nuts and dried fruits. To serve it up, simply add milk, or even a good spoonful of natural yoghurt. There's something satisfying about making your breakfast cereal from scratch, as well as knowing exactly what ingredients you're putting in your mouth. This homemade granola is easy to make and is guaranteed to leave that hungry tummy satisfied.