I’ve always loved granola but everytime I tried to make it I ended up with a crumbly cereal that bore little relation to those indulgent clusters I bought in the supermarket. Recently I’ve been exasperated by the multitude of granola’s on sale. Nothing is simple. Want a bowl of Weetabix then Weetabix you can have. Want porridge in the morning. No problem. Want a bowl of granola and you have to spend hours looking for a box you like; for me that would be a slightly sweet, tasty, simple, tasty oat based cereal with a little salt kick. No fuss. Impossible to find and expensive to buy.
That is until now. Once again The Smitten Kitchen has come to the rescue with it’s fool proof granola recipe that guarantees big clusters made to your own liking. The secret? Egg white. The addition of toasted wheatgerm and wheat bran gives this recipe a wonderful nuttiness and i’m a sucker for walnuts. Feel free to riff off this. It’s barely a skeleton.
240 g rolled oats
50 g unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
100 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
25 g toasted wheat germ
25 g toasted wheat bran
30 ml olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
90 ml (or increase if you like it sweeter) maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
215 g dried cranberries, raisins, apricots, dates
Preheat your oven to 150°C degrees. Combine all the ingredients except the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl. Mix well. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Stir into the granola mixture and distribute throughout. Spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until mixture has browned and is dry to the touch. In the original recipe they say to turn over sections of the granola carefully with a spatula – halfway through baking time – but I never bother. Remove from the oven when there’s a nice colour and remember that the granola will harden as it cools. The reason for this is that the liquids will revert to solids at a cooler temperature (that applies for all biscuits too). Allow the granola to cool completely before breaking up, into whatever size clusters you want, into your bowl of dried fruit.
The granola keeps at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 weeks. It keeps even longer in the freezer.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe:
I’ve added wheat bran
I’ve lowered the maple syrup. If you prefer honey or have it handy then use that instead
I generally add a pinch more of cinnamon and a few more nuts
I sometimes omit coconut