A nutritious breakfast can help start the day feeling energized and ready to go. Granola is a popular choice due to its simplicity, delicious flavor, and often healthy ingredients. Compared to store-bought muesli, homemade granola can be adjusted to contain less sugar and allows you to incorporate your preferred ingredients and flavors.
But what exactly is granola?
The key ingredient to any granola is rolled oats. Together with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or honey, the oats are baked in the oven to get a crisper texture. Typically enjoyed with yogurt and fruit or as a topping on some sort of breakfast bowl, granola adds a nice crunch to the morning meal, and more importantly, helps leave you feeling satisfied.
The beauty of making your own granola is that you can decide how you want it to taste – whether it means adding cocoa, coconut chips, vanilla, cinnamon, or other spices. Not to mention, you can make a gluten-free or a low carb version or a high-protein granola perfect for a high-intense morning exercise.
Baked oatmeal, which serves as the main ingredient in granola, is nutritious and offers health benefits. The beta glucan contained in oats can lower cholesterol and may assist in preventing cardiovascular diseases.1
The secret to crunchy granola lies in a few small details. Temperature and baking time are as crucial as allowing the granola to cool off completely before crumbling it. Syrupy sweeteners like honey or maple syrup work best.
Roast your granola at 180° C for 20-25 minutes. While in the oven, carefully stir the muesli once in a while and make sure it’s not getting too dark towards the end. After granola has cooled, other treats can be folded in, such as California Raisins or dried U.S. Cranberries.
Granola is super easy to make yourself. There are many different possibilities when making granola and there is always the option to add even more ingredients of your choosing.
Cranberry Dark Chocolate Granola is a fun way to start your morning. The bittersweet flavor of chocolate combined with a warm cinnamon granola and the tartness of U.S. Cranberries is absolutely delicious.
If desired, you can easily add complimentary nuts such as buttery American Pecans or California Almonds. Be aware that certain ingredients, such as chocolate, should not be prepared in the oven along with the oats, but added later to the cooled recipe.
To fast-track your way to a healthy breakfast just place the granola in the refrigerator after baking to cool for 1 hour.
Pecan, Ginger and Dried Apple Granola is made of naturally sweet American Pecans and dried apples. The cinnamon adds a mild, balanced and pleasant note and gives this delicious, wholesome snack a wintry touch.
The high protein content and various B vitamins found in American Pecans are said to be good for the nerves, brain, and muscles. Vitamin A, which is also abundant in pecans, is known to protect the eyes and mucous membranes.2
Granola is also suitable as a snack between meals. It can be a healthy alternative to chips and other calorie-laden snacks. For fans of a more hearty cuisine, this vegan Spiced Almond Butter Chickpea Granola recipe may become a new favorite.
Chickpeas may not seem like the most obvious ingredient for granola, but their slightly nutty and buttery taste can give the breakfast dish a delightful touch. With the help of nutmeg and ginger, you can add a tasty note of spices. The perfect way to enjoy this granola is with fresh berries, almond milk, and coconut yogurt.
Due to its consistency granola it is also suitable for further processing, for example into cookies or bars such as this California Prunes and Sweet Potato Traybake.
However you desire your morning meal, enjoy making a fun and flavorful granola!
1 Review Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 2015 Jun;40(6):535-42. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0410. Epub 2015 Jan 27 “Cholesterol-lowering properties of oat β-glucan and the promotion of cardiovascular health: did Health Canada make the right call?” , Ifeanyi D Nwachukwu 1, Jessay G Devassy, Rotimi E Aluko, Peter J H Jones
2 Pecan nuts: A review of reported bioactivities and health effects, November 2017, Trends in Food Science & Technology 71 DOI:10.1016/j.tifs.2017.10.019, Projects: International Natural Product Sciences Taskforce (INPST)