Friday, March 5, 2010

Homemade Granola

The other day I made a batch of my favourite granola and thought I would share the recipe.  When I first started making granola years ago it bothered me that lots of recipes had so much sugar in them, I found this one, modified it and have been using it ever since.  This recipes uses dates and apple juice concentrate as sweetener.

You'll need:
lots of oats (I fill two cookies sheets)
approx. 1 cup of dates (if you don't have a strong blender you may want to soak them first)
almonds (you don't have to use these but I like to, you can also soak these first if you want)
3 spoons full of tahini
1 can of apple juice concentrate
1/3 or more cup of oil (I like grapeseed and coconut or olive also work well)

I blend the dates and almonds with a bit of water and apple juice concentrate (in  my blender) until they are well ground then I add the rest of the concentrate and the oil  (you could leave the oil  out but I like my family to get this in our breakfast).  Add the tahini and cinnamon and blend.  You want this mixture to look like thickish pancake batter. 
Pour it over the oats and coat to stir.  This is where you will judge how many oats you need, you want them to be well coated but not at all soggy.  You're going to have to bake them until dry.
I usually mix mine in glass bowls or a large baking pan and then transfer them onto the cookie sheets.  You want them to make a layer on the cookie sheets and not to be piled high because then they will take longer to dry.
Bake at a low temperature, I use around 250.  I used to burn my granola quite often when I would bake it at 350 - trust us that burnt granola does not make a delightful breakfast!  Baking at the lower temperature takes longer but it dries evenly and ends up with a nice golden (never burnt) colour.  This will take several hours but you can go about your business and not worry about it burning.  I do like to stir it 2 or 3 times as it cooks, otherwise the edges will be browned and the middle still "wet".  Once it is all completely dry you can let it completely cool and then put it into glass jars for storage. 
We like it with yogurt and fruit or topped with raisins and bananas...or sometimes just plain as a snack.


affectioknit said...

That looks so good - I love granola!

Anonymous said...

It does look delicious. I have to admit that I'm nervous about the tahini part. Maybe I could try a small spoonful one day? I would like to try a new recipe to get away from maple syrup (and I have an incredible amount of dates in my freezer ;-)


Gina said...

Just left a blogger award on my blog for you :)
Gina xxx

Debbie said...

I've got an award for you on my blog (apparently this is a theme here today, but honestly, I didn't know! I just love your blog!) :)

Heather said...

Samantha you can always leave the tahini out, it is a very adaptable recipe.

Thank you Gina and Debbie. That's very kind of you, I appreciate it.