Easy Home Made Granola

It's so easy.

Its so easy.

Walking down the aisle, I battled with all the choices given to me. We are being spoilt and confused was my constant refrain. The shelves looked so perfectly tabulated and full with these gorgeous boxes of cereal.
Sigh! ‘They do it purposely’, was my grumble while I placed the box back precariously. Well, the shopping was taking more time than necessary, and I was in no mood to loiter. So off I went, billed my stuff and got back home in good time to do what I do when in distress.

That you will make little gifts out of them

That you will make little gifts out of them

I was going to make granola at home – decided. Now all I needed was a nice clean recipe. 🙂
The web caters thousand different varied recipes. (Was running away from all the choices I had to make in the superfood aisle, and here I was, pounded by more!!) Well, did manage to get a gist of what I need to do and the rest was up to me. Yay!! I could throw in what ever I like, how much ever I like and skip what I don’t. Hmm.. pretty neat huh.

Goodness Jar

Goodness Jar

Getting all the stuff together is a pretty straight forward job, all I found difficult to procure was a pack of old-fashioned rolled oats. The most common variety is the quick cooking oats which cannot be used here. Well, after a bit of nosing around, I did find and I bought a big box immediately.

Thats pretty much what all you need

Thats pretty much what all you need

The best part about making this at home is you can play with the ingredients as you like. Some more of this, less of that, it’s all upto you.

I was so pleased with the results, that I packed small jars for family and friends to enjoy. The little jars make such cute gift article that its impossible not to like the look as well as whats in it!

Mix. Mix n Mix

Mix. Mix n Mix

Well, children (or rather my child) do not eat it so readily. I coaxed and cajoled, and she did give in to take a tiny bite. But that was it, she didn’t want to do anything more with it.

Try some

Try some

A small bowl of this very healthy nutritious granola goes a long way. Make it your breakfast with some fresh fruits and a tall glass of milk or some yoghurt. Try topping on your milkshakes. A handful of this on your ice cream adds crunch and a bit of health into it 😉

Pack some

Pack some

The Recipe: To make about 1 kg granola.

Ingredients

  • 500gms old fashioned rolled oats
  • 250gms mixed chopped nuts, I used almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans
  • 100 gms mixed currants and raisins, I used dried blueberries, raisins and black currants
  • 50 gms mixed seeds – I used melon, pumpkin, sunflower and flax
  • 100 ml coconut oil or olive oil or any healthy cooking oil
  • maple syprup or honey as per taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • a pinch of sea salt

Method

Keep the currants and raisins separately. In a saucepan, heat oil, maple syrup or honey, vanilla and salt. Simmer for a minute or two until all ingredients are well combined.

In a huge bowl, take oats, nuts and seeds. Do not add raisins and currants. Pour the honey-oil mix and combine it well. On a lined baking sheet, spread this mix out evenly and bake at 175 C for about 10-12 minutes or till they start to evenly brown. The ideal colour is golden and please take care not to over bake else they turn bitter.

Once the oats and nuts are cooked. Remove, Cool. Add raisins an currants. Give it a final toss. Store in airtight containers. Use as required.

Spill some

Spill some

Best Served with – yoghurt and fresh fruits!

I usually take mine with fresh fruits and chocolate protein shake. Its one full breakfast!

Daily Sustenance

Daily Sustenance

To health and nutrition

To health and nutrition

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Date-Nut-Fig Energy Rolls

Simple, beneficial, nutritious

Simple, beneficial, nutritious

I mentioned a month back about husband’s detox journey. Pampered in the serene, tranquil greenery of a naturopathy center on the outskirts of Bangalore, had made him fuss about what he puts in his mouth. I thought the zen like state would last a week or so. But nature had other plans. The man still sticking to all things “satvic”, has made me guilty of even smelling some food for the soul(which is sweets, desserts… ). What to do, I like my sugar at the cellular level 🙂

 salubrious layers

salubrious layers

I have an insatiable sweet tooth. This paranoids Mr.MFT(myfoodtapestry -ha!). Really. He finds me delving into a jar of Nutella after dinner. And he reels with shock. Arguing the fact that chances are I will remain true and loyal to my North Indian genes (READ: Turn FAT), he tries to snatch the prized possession. Haggle-Fight-Beg-Plead one-last-bite look, and then I decide that tomorrow is going to be a brand new day. I am going to stop my crazed obsession. I will be officially off chocolates for a few days. Sigh! Not an easy feat.

Today is day 5. Its going allright, but night times are the worst. When the day’s work is done, Milee has been tucked in and I have the privilege to dive my nose into a fantastic book or watch my fav show, is when the craving kicks in. No. Im not talking about dope here. But I AM all dopey(coz no good has gone into my system). The sadist keeps an open eye.

Dates, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and figs

Dates, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and figs

But, the world seems brighter again, the flowers bloom and the skies turn azure, when my light bulb burns bright – meaning, I hit upon this novel idea to appease the new health recruit and calm my turbulent saccharine needs.
Without much ado, I scooted off to chop-toast-mix-roll-cut process.

What happens when you mix super soft sweet deseeded dates, dried figs, toasted chopped almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashewnuts in a wok??
Nothing. But you do find yourself fighting with the ladle which hardly moves in that big highly viscous messy mix. It’s quite a task to bring in all into a harmonious little bundle. And you want them to stick together so that neat rolls can be sliced or perfect squares/bars can be cut. Oh Boy did I bruise my palms that day.

You need to make this.... like right now!!

You need to make this…. like right now!!

Now don’t let my inexperience with things like these deter you into making something so divinely healthy and salubrious. My mom later told me I could have achieved greater success and lesser damage to my stumbling fingers if only I had the sense to use the right ladles and a chopping board to deal with the nuts. Sigh! now what’s done is done. But the fruit of my labor was fabulous. Now that’s “compensation” for my stupidity.

The nutrient tower

The nutrient tower

The recipe –

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soft dates, pitted and chopped roughly
  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped fine
  • 1/2 walnuts, toasted and chopped fine – I used 3/4th cup but 1/2 cup is also enough
  • 1/2-1/4 cup cashew nuts, toasted and chopped fine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil or ghee – optional
  • 3-4 tsp sesame seeds – toasted – optional
The Ingredients

The Ingredients

Note: you can even use PECANS, MACADEMIA NUTS, HAZEL NUTS or any other that you like.

Method

To toast the nuts, I prefer to do them individually, but you could throw all in together and roast them. Individual roasting is preferred because some nuts brown faster than the others. Like cashew changes colors the fastest where as almonds take a long time to brown.

Once you have all the ingredients ready with you. Take a big wok, if you are using the oil/ghee, heat.  Heat it now. Throw in the dates and figs. With the help of a big flat heavy spatula(preferably wooden) beat the contents and turn them around. After 3-4 minutes, add all the toasted nuts and sesame seeds(if using). Now hold the wok tightly(with a cloth) and with your working hand try to get all of them to stick and mix together. Keep beating it and mixing it, till one big brown nutty amalgam is formed. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Switch the flame off. After a couple of minutes. Although still hot, use a bowl of water to wet your scalding hands… grab portions of the mixture and form cylindrical pieces. You’ll find yourself yelping with mild burns for sure… but be careful.

Waiting for a sharp knife

Waiting for a sharp knife

Roll it with your hands by pressing the mix. Now refrigerate the cylinders for an hour or two. Once done, remove from the cooler and slice them with a sharpened knife to make rounds of equal measurement.
Store neatly in a close lid box and refrigerate the rounds.

Enjoy with a glass of milk(like how I try to give Milee) or devour them as it is.

Invigorating array

Invigorating array

Note: alter the nuts, but keep the dates and fig quantity more than the others as they help in binding and sticking.

Pick one

Pick one

My nectarous needs comforted. I bite into the crunch yet gooey alloy of health and Life feels Good again.

Gift of health

Gift of health