Granola is one of those pseudo-health foods that you try to justify eating by the handful because of its ingredients. Made mostly of rolled oats, nuts and dried fruits, it begs the question: where is the danger?
While granola may seem harmless, the reality is that many packaged mixes are calorie-dense, fat-heavy products. The addition of lots of sugar and unnameable preservatives results in a mixture less wholesome than many presume. When craving a crunchy topping for yogurt or as a quick snack on the go, the best way to ensure the natural, healthiness of granola is to prepare it yourself–something Cara at BGSK discovered for herself.
Making granola from scratch is easy and any recipe any can be adjusted to suit one’s preferences for nuts, dried fruits and level of sweetness. I mixed hazelnuts, almonds, pepitas and pistachios with raisins and dried cranberries. When in the oven, a blend containing honey, brown sugar and cinnamon combines with the nuts and oats to emit an aroma so warm and inviting that you can barely wait to dig in. And, with an ingredient list you can read, you can feel good about grabbing a handful or two of this crunchy snack.
Bethany Imondi, a junior studying Government and English at Georgetown University, loves the surprise that comes with a handful of granola and tasting the creative combinations of flavors. Read more…
You can use any raw unsalted nuts or dried fruits in this recipe. Suggestions include walnuts, pecans, dried apricots, dried cherries, and/or figs.
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 3/4 cup mixed nuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mixed dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt.
In a small saucepan, bring to a boil water, oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla. Watch and stir constantly. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to combine, ensuring that all the dry ingredients are coated by the wet mixture.
Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
Remove from oven. Once it has completely cooled, add the dried fruit. Transfer to an airtight container. Granola will keep for about one week.