HMC: Granola


Far from being an angry self-righteous granola-munching hippie, I do have to admit that I have become a regular muncher of granola.  Granola.   If I was so lucky to find one in the store that is nutritious, providing an adequate amount of protein and fibre balanced by minimum sugar, which also tastes good, without breaking the bank, I would buy it all up, no questions asked. 

But in my travels, and probably yours too, I have not found the holy grail of granolas.  If I had I wouldn’t be writing a recipe today but a product review instead.  Some store-bought granolas were too starchy, some too sweet, some with too many sunflower seeds, some were not crunchy enough, some turned to a sickly mush by the time I got in to work, and some were ridiculously expensive.  And all with not enough protein.  Take it from someone who has tried a lot of different brands, you are getting ripped off one way or another.

Finally, this month, with the impetus necessitated through the Home Made Challenge, I decided that it was time.  It was time to break from the shackles that Quaker, Kelloggs, Kashi, and Nature’s Path had placed on me.  I would venture into the world of granola making.  I would no longer be just any granola-muncher.  I would elevate myself, into a maker of granola.  Breaking through passive complacency as a consumer to take control of my destiny! 

Okay, okay.  That was a little heavy handed.  But after my first batch of granola turned out perfectly, thanks to Mollie Katzen (nutritionist and cookbook writer extraordinaire of Moosewood Kitchen fame), I proudly proclaimed to the stars that I, Momo Lambkin, would never, ever, buy granola from box again.  I felt that that bold statement needed a grand overture.

The first line of Ms. Katzen’s recipe, from her book, Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe, immediately caught my attention, hook-line-sinker.  It said, “Granola has to be crunchy.”  After reading the recipe several times, I came to understand that making granola is straight forward and simple.

You just pick some grains (like oat, spelt, or buckwheat flakes) to rule as the main ingredient, protein (like nuts, nut meal, oat bran, and protein powder) to find a good balance, oil and maple syrup (or honey) to bring them all together and in the oven bind them.

In an hour, you will have made your favourite granola, of your own design and labour, to be served with fresh or dried fruit with plain yogurt.

Here is the recipe, adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe:

Preheat the oven at 325F

In a big bowl, throw in

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup rolled spelt flakes
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds

In a measuring cup, measure out

  • 3/4 cup oil (I use grapeseed) and
  • 1/2 cup plus a tablespoon maple syrup

Stir vigorously to mix well, and pour into the bowl with the oats.  Mix it all up, Mollie Katzen says you should use your hands!

In a 1 cup volume measuring cup, put in your preferred ratio of

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Soy protein powder
  • Ground almond.

Add 1/2 tbsp salt and stir to mix.

Add the flour mixture into the large bowl with the oats, and mix it all up.  Don’t worry too much about getting it super mixed up as you will want lumps!

Pour the entire bowl onto a large non-stick cookie sheet, nevermind if it’s in there pretty thick.  Press down with your hands so that the pieces stick together.  Place in the oven for 33 minutes.

Mollie Katzen says to stir once or twice, and in the two times that I’ve made this in 2 weeks, I recommend only poking around once, and when you do, try not to stir it but to flip large continents of granola, which is the best way to make sure that large lumps form.

When you take it out of the oven, some pieces may still be a bit soft, but as it cools it will harden.  Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack and leave until completely cool.  This granola keeps well in an airtight container in the freezer.

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2 responses to “HMC: Granola

  1. I’ll have to try this.

    Out of curiosity, have you tried the Bridgehead granola in Ottawa? It’s not cheap but better than any other commercial granola that I’ve tried. Home made is always better but the large Bridgehead ones are what I use as a base and then add fresh or dried fruit, sometimes other nuts or quick oats to extend it.

    Thanks for the renewed inspiration to make some at home!

  2. I haven’t tried the Bridgehead granola, will have to check it out after September! One granola that I really liked was the one from The Wild Oat in the Glebe, but one large bag costs around $25 😦

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