Granola with Greek yogurt and fresh berries is one of the most popular breakfasts next to bagels, waffles, or bacon and eggs. Nowadays granola exists in almost every household and on every breakfast menu. But what exactly is granola? Is it healthy? Can you make it yourself? EAT SMARTER has all the answers for you.
What Is Granola?
Granola is made of a variety of different cereals, rolled oats, dried fruits and nuts. Due to its many healthy ingredients and lack of granulated sugar, granola is one of the more healthy breakfast foods. Instead of sugar, a touch of honey or syrup is generally used.
Since it doesn’t have granulated sugar, granola is generally not very sweet, but gets its special touch through ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, cranberries, coconut flakes and/or spices, such as vanilla and cinnamon. In the US, people have been eating granola since the 80’s, but in recent years granola has had a huge surge in popularity. Celebrity chefs make their own varieties, and celebrities, such as Heidi Klum, swear by it.
Of course we love our classic granola; however, for those who are a bit more adventurous you can find all kinds of outlandish granola variations. For example, in New York, granola with collard greens, cranberries and chia seeds is very popular.
Fortunately granola doesn’t have to be left to the professionals. It is quite easy in fact to make at home. When you make it at home its easy to tailor it exactly to your tastes since you can add pretty much anything you like.
DIY Granola: Base Ingredients
- 3 cups cereal (oats, spelt, etc.)
- 1 cup nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
- 1 cup “sweetness" (depending on taste honey, Agave syrup, maple syrup)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 cup kernels (such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, etc.)
- 1 tsp spices (such as cinnamon or vanilla. Unusual spices can also add a special touch to granola like rosemary or thyme).
- Optional coconut flakes
- Dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, figs, apples, etc.) Important: Don’t add dried fruits until after you have baked the granola since these can otherwise become to dry and hard.
The ingredients you put in it determine how healthy the granola ends up being. However, homemade granola is generally healthier than the kind you can pick up at the grocery store.
DIY Granola: Directions
- Preheat the oven to 190 ° C / 375 F
- Mix oats, nuts, coconut chips, salt and spices in a bowl.
- Add honey and oil and mix everything until the honey and oil have incorporated well and there are no big pieces left.
- Place parchment paper on a sheet and distribute the mixture on it.
- Bake until the desired browning and crispiness has been achieved (approx. 20-40 min). The granola should not burn. It will not get hard until it has cooled down.
- Allow the granola to cool down completely and then you can store it in an airtight container (or of course eat it right away).
The homemade granola can stay good for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container, but in our experience it won’t last that long!