13 August 2010

Homemade granola, at last - with homemade applesauce

 

 
I am not a big fan of store bought cereals. However I do stock whole wheat flakes and unsweetened cornflakes for breakfast in a hurry. Buying boxed cereals with sugar and salt overload are totally avoidable as the first meal of the day. Oats is another regular during breakfast hours. That is one thing the husband has mastered in microwave cooking - Oats, frozen peas, masalas of choice, water and microwave for 4 minutes or so - for a bowl full of fibre, protein and good carbs. I prefer my oats slightly sweetened with jaggery, cooked with milk and cinnamon. When I saw this recipe for granola on Nigella Lawson's show - combining cereals with nuts, seeds, spices - I knew I had to try this. But it turned out to be one of those ideas that keep sitting on the back burner - waiting for the right moment, to be explored. Early this week, sufficiently inspired, I went to the store and bought the necessary ingredients - Oats, cornflakes, apples, sesame seeds for the rest of the stuff I already had at home.

 
Ever since the waxed, coated and 'sitting in cold storage for god knows how long' apples from US and NZ have flooded the markets, I have totally given up apples. I hate the shiny waxy skin, I hate the pasty texture and total lack of taste. But Shimla apples are another breed altogether - they are the perfect combination of juicy, crisp and sweet and I bought 2 kilos. The timing was perfect as I could use a couple of them to make applesauce to hold the garnola together. [Recipe for applesauce at the end of the post]

The resultant breakfast in a bowl is very high in fibre from the whole grains and wheat germ, the sesame seeds are rich in calcium, iron, vitamin B1 and zinc. The taste is absolutely superlative with subtle sweetness from natural sugars in jaggery, honey, apple and the spicy sweetness of cinnamon. Try this once and I guarantee you will never buy the cardboard shards sold in the name of Muesli in supermarkets here.


 

 
Here's my recipe - adapted from Nigella Lawson's - Andy's Fairfield Granola

 
Special equipment
Pressure cooker if making applesauce at home (preferable for quickly stewing apples)
Two large baking trays atleast 9X9

 
Ingredients
500 g Rolled oats ( I used Saffola brand)
2 cups unsweetened corn flakes or wheat flakes
1 cup wheat bran ( I used Baggrey's )
100 g sesame seeds (or roughly 1/3rd cup)-lightly toasted in a wok for 1 minute
1/2 cup - mixture of almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews - chopped in bits

 
1/2 cup jaggery dissolved in 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sunflower or any neutral oil
1 cup applesauce or make your own from 2-3 apples (Recipe below)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 tsp salt

 
1 cup mix of dried apricot bits / raisins / sultananas or any other dried berries

 
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven at 200 C.
  2. In the largest bowl you have, mix the oats, wheatflakes, nuts, toasted sesame seeds.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the jaggery water, honey, oil, applesauce, ground ginger and cinnamon and salt.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix with two serving spoons or with your hands, until the spices and liquids have thoroughly coated all of the cereals and nuts.
  5. Line the baking trays with aluminium foil.
  6. Distribute the granola mix between the two trays, pressing down well.
  7. Bake each tray for around 30 minutes at 200 C - keeping a watch that the granola is not burning. If it is browning too fast, turn the tray and reduce the temperature to 175 and bake till quite crisp.
  8. Once cool, break into bits or crumble, mix up the dried fruit and store in airtight container.

 
To serve
2 handfuls of granola or 1/2 cup with a cup of milk and some fresh fruit if you like

How to make applesauce
  • Wash, peel and core 2-3 good apples.
  • Chop into medium pieces and pressure cook with 1/2 cup water, either directly in the cooker or in a bowl for 5-7 minutes. ie. After three whistles, keep on sim for 5-7 minutes.
  • After a few minutes, open cooker, remove the stewed apples and mash with a back of a ladle or in food processor.
  • This will yield over a cup of applesauce.
  • If you dont have a pressure cooker, follow the process in a saucepan with a fitting lid. Simmer for 20-30 minutes till apples are totally soft and then mash.

12 comments:

Vegetarian Zest said...

This is such a lovely recipe.Loved reading it.

Sanjeeta kk said...

Lovely and healthy energy bars. Must always keep these goodies for instant energy. thanks for sharing Nandita.

arundati said...

i've been wanting to make granola too for the longest time... i am going to try this before the apples disappear....and you are so right about the cardboard pieces sold in boxes bit... i recently ate muesli at a friend's place on her insistence, and i told her it tasted like eating wet sand... tasteless, coarse and yuck! this looks delish!

Srivalli said...

Nandita, I have been wanting to make granola at home too..will try your recipe sometime..thanks for sharing..pictures look very nice..

Pauline said...

Oo, this sounds so healthy with no loss of sweentess with the applesauce. I've always wanted to make granola and your recipe sounds delish, although I'd add cranberries or dried cherries instead of apples cuz I like those fruit. What can you use instead of jaggery and wheat bran?

Jessica said...

Delicious! I hate buying cereal too, and when I buy it I insist on low to zero grams of sugar. Usually flakes or shredded wheat. Grape nuts for a treat sometimes.

Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe. Now if I can only make this in bar form, I'd be set!

jessyburke88@gmail.com

chinnu said...

Very healthy dish and i would really want to try this once in my home.Thanks for this dish.You can post like these blogs in Chennaimoms.com ,a parenting site for mothers and women.It is mainly women website.It has event section too,in which you can post event at free of cost.In which you can see many events regarding food competition in chennai and kids events in chennai, where you can participate and show your talents .you can also join your children in many events like drawing competition etc..It shows upcoming,weekend events happening in Chennai.

Anupama said...

Great Granola Nandita, have always loved it and yours looks very heart and soul warming. Ina Garten too has a great Granola recipe.

Miri said...

You said it about the unappetising apples - what is it with the expensive, imported stuff???

The granola looks very very inviting!

Anonymous said...

Hi..this recipe is very good but does Saffola have rolled oats..I only foung quick cooking ones.

Nandita said...

I found Saffola to have the biggest size oats so I chose that-the grainy ones will totally crumble in this.

tmobilek89 said...

It looks yummy, I'll surely try it.
justcookit.blog.com