The only drawback to homemade granola (superior to store-bought, on all counts, in my book) is finding the foresight to make large batches of it in advance. Maybe it’s just me, but my motivation for making anything is pretty closely tied to how soon I’m going to scarf it down.
The basic sequence of events is this: Add your fat and sweetener to your pan over medium-low heat and blend until everything is nice and liquid. Add in the grains and a pinch of salt and toast until golden (8-10 minutes). Mix in whatever nuts and seeds you like and cook for another couple of minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite spices (or toasted coconut and chocolate chips!) and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Break it up and throw it in some yogurt or milk and you have a tasty homemade breakfast. Or anytime snack; granola shouldn’t be confined to the morning.
Love the idea of a smoothie for breakfast, but wish it filled you up a little more? I hear you, and I’m totally with you. My main criteria for any breakfast, including smoothies, is one that isn’t going to leave my stomach grumbling a couple hours later.
My key to a good breakfast smoothie is making sure it has the power to carry me through the morning. One of the easiest ways to do this? Add a scoop of oats!
I’ve thrown oats into my morning protein shake, my staple breakfast for years. I’ve found that quick-cooking oats blend better and don’t wreak havoc on your stomach as much as whole or steel-cut varieties.
Having trouble finding cost effective rolled oats? Look for Quaker Rolled Oats in the cereal aisle.
Bonus: If you are making granola and you want big chunks, pack all your ingredients tightly together on a baking sheet (I find it easier on a lipped baking sheet but plain should work fine). Once the granola is baked and cooled, you can break it into chunks.
It seemed crumby, but was rather chewy and tasted like banana bread. Sadly, I only had coarse salt handy – I don’t recommend it if you find yourself in a similar position. But the banana flavour was nice with vanilla frozen yogurt 😀
I switched to this approach recently, both for nutrition and so I didn’t have to wait for the kettle to boil.
The recipe suggests a 1.5 to 1 ratio for steel cut oats, but my experience was 1:1 or you’ll have excess water in the bottom (after leaving it for 12 hours). The ratio might have to do with the container – I use hermetic/airtight ones, so it could be that water isn’t evaporating.
After a couple of weeks, I started adding things (just before eating, to not throw off the water ratio) like: