Granola is one of those things that you can eat just about anytime – I keep a jar on hand and go between eating it plain and on top of my breakfast oatmeal. In its crunchy cluster form, it’s also one of my favorite travel snacks. There’s a reason it became so popular as a “hippie health food” – hate it or love it, you can’t deny that it’s actually a well-balanced snack packing in fiber, good fats and energy from the oats, nuts and dried fruit. I wanted to make a classic, easy homemade granola with lots of mixed dried fruit and nuts to eat everyday – my hazelnut chocolate buckwheat granola is more of occasional yet healthy treat because I just don’t like to include chocolate in my daily breakfast.
This easy homemade granola is perfectly proportioned – it’s not overly oat-heavy and is just sweet enough but not too sweet. I used egg whites to make big, crunchy clusters of granola, but a flax egg works just as well for a vegan option. Use one egg white/flax egg for small clusters; use two for large clusters. If you don’t have maple syrup (it can be quite hard to find in India) and don’t like to use honey in baking (I don’t like to), you can use brown sugar instead, along with 2 additional tbsp of olive oil to help coat everything evenly. For me, 30ml of maple syrup was enough but if you prefer a sweeter granola, feel free to add in more.
The hardest thing about this recipe really is getting the baking time right – everyone’s ovens are different and granola needs quite some time to bake. I found that I needed to monitor it every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes and every four to five minutes following that. Pre-baking the oats helps as well. Make this recipe (or any granola, for that matter) when you know you have time to keep going back and forth from the kitchen because trust me, burnt granola does not taste good at all. Be sure not to mix in the dried fruits with the rest of the nuts and seeds because they ideally shouldn’t be baked (dehydrated) any more than they already are. If you follow these tips, it should be easy to customize the granola to be exactly the way you want it. If you’re looking for good flavor combinations, try pistachios and cranberries together, almonds and blueberries or walnuts and cherries – these are some of my favorites. If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think – leave a comment below or get in touch on Instagram @theindiaedition.
- 90-100g or ¾ cup rolled oats
- 80g or ½ cup nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachio or a mix of nuts of your choice, chopped
- 15g or 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 50g or ¼ cup seeds like sunflower, flax, pumpkin, melon, etc.
- 30g or ¼ cup dried fruits like cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins, strawberries, etc. (post-baking)
- A pinch of sea salt
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 egg whites or flax eggs, whisked (1 tbsp freshly ground flaxseeds + 2.5 tbsp water) (see instructions)
- 30ml or ⅛ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Toss the oats in 2-3 tbsp olive oil to coat. Bake at 160C for 15 minutes, stirring halfway to ensure even baking. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss together the nuts, chia seeds and other seeds that you're using. Leave out the dried fruits for now. Add in the cooled oats and combine.
- Whisk the egg white(s) or flax egg(s) along with maple syrup/honey, vanilla and sea salt. For larger chunks of granola, use two egg whites or flax eggs. If you prefer a flakier granola with fewer clusters, use just one.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry, ensuring that the dry ingredients are well-coated.
- Bake at 155C for 40-45 minutes, checking and stirring every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes and every 4-5 minutes following that. When your granola is done, mix in the dried fruits. Store in an airtight jar for upto 8-10 days.