Granola is a mixture of rolled oats, puffed rice, dried fruit, chocolate chips, honey and nuts. These ingredients are combined and pressed in an even layer into a baking tin – where they're chilled till they harden. You can cut them into squares or bars to make them easy to transport. Making a large batch seems smarter as they are freezer friendly and can be kept aside for future use.
It is a popular breakfast food and snack and is highly beneficial for you and your child's health. Pre-packaged granola comes loaded with sugar and preservatives, which are not good for health in large quantities. Homemade bars come packed with nutrients and help aid in digestion, increase energy and improve brain function.
BASIC GRANOLA BAR RECIPE
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup nuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 180º C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or foil.
- Spread the nuts and oats on to the tray and toast them for 8 – 10 minutes or until they are lightly brown.
- While the oats and nuts are toasting, melt the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a saucepan. Heat it through until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cool the mixture for 5 minutes and then stir together with the toasted oats and nuts. Make sure to combine well as no oats should remain uncoated.
- Line a baking tin with foil, with enough hanging over the edge to be able to hold.
- Press the oat mixture on to the bottom, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Chill for at least two hours before using the overhanging foil to remove the chilled granola from the tray. Cut into the desired shape before storing.
The above recipe is for a basic granola bar. However, you can choose to add dried cranberries, dried apple, a sprinkle of cinnamon or chocolate chips to the granola mixture. Alternatively, you can also use jaggery instead of brown sugar in the mixture and melt it into the butter in the same manner. Try not to skip adding a good vanilla extract to the mixture as it adds warmth and a depth of flavour to the bars.