I believe granola is a must have in your kitchen cupboard. I mean, all the time, all year long because that’s such an essential and a life saver for any rushed breakfast, if you need a quick dessert, or just to satisfy a craving in a healthier way. People tend to think that granola isn’t the kind of thing that can last a while, which I simply agree with in the sense that it’s so good that you might empty your stock quite fast. However, storage wise, it keeps very well in an air tight container for a few weeks. What I most love about granola is these huge chunks that actually aren’t so easy to get when first trying out to make your own. After a few trials, I finally went for another technique to get the gorgeous chunks I was looking for, and that’s such a treat !
I won’t be going though all the health and nutritional benefits of oats in general as I have a few articles already covering the topic up. Have a look here or here is you’re interested to know more about oats. This we’ll be talking practical and cooking technique to upgrade your homemade granolas. This recipe shares two main tips to take granola recipes the extra mile, flavour and texture wise.
First thing of, you should know you can “granola” anything you like, Yes! anything even savoury ingredients if you’d like to. This is a super versatile recipe you can never get bored with, because you’ll keep on getting creative with it. It’s also an amazing idea if your looking to use up some produces, for example an old pack of almonds or anything that could fit in there. You can add up various spices, nuts or sweetener that you prefer, adapt the quantities so it perfectly matches your tastes. On a personal end, I really enjoy making my granolas sharp in flavours with a roasted, smoky and earthy overall feel. To achieve that, I start by toasting all of the basis ingredients: the oats and nuts; to enhance their taste and develop the earthy flavour, that’s my first granola master tip.
Second important aspect with granolas is … TEXTURE! Indeed, I was quite disappointed sometimes with the end result of my granolas, not having the big chunks that are just taking it the next level. You know, those that are holding their shape even if you drop some plant-based milk in, that remain extra crunchy. Well, I had quite a hard time finding out how to create those gorgeous and so perfect chunks, and you know what? I found the solution by failing to make the recipe I was targeting to! A few days ago, I have tried making cereal snack bars – which will hopefully come up whenever the recipe gets satisfactory – which ended up not to stick enough to hold a cereal bar shape; probably because there wasn’t enough sweetener in there. Well, long story short, I started to break the cereal bars and actually realised that the chunks were there! So here is my second pro tip: cook your granola batch in a baking tray after having pressed the raw preparation firmly and it sticks well. After I made this mistake, I have made another batch improving on this technique and the result is absolutely stunning !
RECIPE for a 20x20cm baking tray
Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
You will need:
- 200g oats – I prefer small size ones
- 50g puffed rice
- 50g hazelnuts
- 50g almonds
- 20g walnuts
- 20g linseeds
- 20g chia seeds
- 30g almond butter – click here for my recipe
- 40g coconut oil
- 80g honey – prefer a liquid one
- 1tsp cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- 100g raspberries
- 2 figs
- A few mint leaves
Heat up the oven to 180°C
In a food processor, place the chia and linseeds, process it until it forms a thin powder.
When the oven is hot, place the hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 8-10 minutes. When done, take the tray and let cool for a few minutes, then peel the skin off the hazelnuts to prevent the granola from turning bitter.
Chop the roasted almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts in small chunks.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, puffed rice, chia and lin seeds powder, and chopped almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts.
In a small pot, melt over a low heat the honey, almond butter and coconut oil. Pour the preparation in the oats bowl and add up the pinch of salt and cinnamon, gently mix together until the oats are very well coated and start to absorb the liquid. It takes about 10 minutes mixing.
Place some parchment paper in the baking pan and place the raw granola preparation. Firmly press the preparation so it forms a block and sticks very well together.
Cook the granola in the oven for 20 minutes, until the up face is golden. Let cool completely and then break the granola block into large chunks. Place the chunks over a baking tray and let dry in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely again and store in an air tight container.
In a small pot, place the raspberries – keep a few to decorate if you’d like too – and cook them for 5 minutes over a low heat. Top the granola with this raspberry compote and some fresh figs for a perfect end of summer combination.