I've never really thought that much about making my own cereal, mainly because there are so many exciting flavours on offer, but walking through all these health shops and spotting the ridiculous prices on some of them, I thought "I've got to try this one time to see why it's so special and expensive". So, here we are… "I'm making my own granola cereal". However, for this tasty experiment, there could be no compromise on getting it wrong the first time and so I recall seeing a lovely recipe by Donna Hay, way back in 2007 – you see, when it comes to food, my memory usually doesn't fail me – ask the wife. Well ! you'll be glad to know that after scanning the ingredients (with a little tweak from me but of course) and method for this lovely invention, I was pleasantly surprised to discover 2 things – the stuff isn't expensive to buy and it's so easy to make, so here goes;
400g of rolled oats (you can pick this up in any supermarket and it is really affordable)
100ml of Canola oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
150ml of runny honey
2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup (optional but it makes it more luxurious)
50g of raw cashew nuts
50g of raw almonds
25g of cranberries (optional)
25g of raisins
75g of mixed seeds like sesame, sunflower, pumpkin and melon
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 180C and line a non-stick large baking tray with baking parchment. Pour the canola oil into a small pan and once it begins to get hot put the tablespoon of butter in, as well as the 150ml of honey (TIP – pour the honey into the same measuring jug you used for the oil and the honey will be easier to pour). As soon as the butter has melted and the canola oil, honey and butter mixture flow as one, then take of the heat. Measure the rest of the ingredients and pour into a large bowl and then pour the oil mixture in and stir until evenly coated. Place on the lined baking tin and put into the oven.
The whole baking time should take about 20-25 minutes but I advise you to check it every 6-8 minutes so that it doesn't burnt – the combination of honey, oil and oats creates a sugar mass that burns easily, so watch it closely. As soon as it is done it should be golden and not burnt. Take it out and whilst it cools try to break it gently – don't leave it for hours as it will be hard to break later. Once ready, pour the granola into an airtight container and it should last for about 4 weeks – mine lasted just under 2, as my daughter fell in love with it and wife mixed it with ice cream.
For breakfast, it works well with a little slightly hot milk, topped with thick natural yoghurt (called Bulgarian in South Africa) and fresh fruit like strawberries or/and banana.
Inspired by a recipe in Living Magazine, September 2006 by Donna Hay