Granola DIY

Do you remember when you were little and you went to the supermarket with your mom, plaguing her to buy everything you saw?
Basically, I never got over that stage. Except my mom now says I’m big enough to go on my own and waste my own money.
So everytime I go to the supermarket, I hold on to my small piece of paper and try to stick to the list of all the stuff I need, for the week’s food plan and for householding purposes.
It takes some effort and even more strong will, but I usually succeed.
Where I fail more often, it’s in the cereal alley.
Because here in Canada the cereals have a dedicated alley… too bad there are only 365 breakfast a year!
Now my favourites are these, but I love them all, and I want to taste them all!
During this trying and tasting, I met some cereals that I didn’t like, or I run into others that had perfect fruit combination but were in flakes intead of granola, or others where the granola was not crunchy enough.
Once I bought some, where I was really tempted to sort out all those tiny, little, out of place dry papaya cubes; I refrained only because C would have me taken to the sanitarium.
So I made some research and I discovered that I could do my own, personal granola at home.
I studied, and discarded all the recipes that called for syrups (rice, corn and yes, even my beloved maple) or honey or fruit purée, ’cause I wanted a granola made with basic ingredients: sugar, butter, nuts, dried fruit. And oats, of course!
After some research, I went with quick oats, as they supposedly give you those beautiful clusters you find in the industrial granola.
This was my first attempt, so I kept traditional and made this strudel-inspired version… but as soon as I finish this first batch, I already have thousands of possible combinations I want to try!
Next time, a little almonds and more hazelnuts with dried banana and chocolate chips.
And the next ones, almonds and pumpkin seeds, with dried apricots.
And then, almonds and macadamia nuts, with coconut and…

IMG_1369

APPLE STRUDEL GRANOLA

Ingredients:
360 gr quick oats (I used these)
100 gr blanched sliced almonds
100 gr pine nuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
150 gr sugar
60 ml water
90 gr butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Granny Smith apple dry chips
Dried sultana raisins

Instructions
In a food processor, grind half of the oats to a fine powder.
In a large bowl, combine the whole oats, the ground oats, the almonds, the pine nuts and the spices.
In a small pan, heat the butter with the sugar and the water, just until the butter has melted, then stir in the salt and the vanilla extract.
Pour this mixture over the oat mixture and mix well, until everything is uniformly soaked.
Let it rest for 15 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 300F (150°C).
Spread evenly the oats on a large baking sheet (I previously covered it with parchment paper). I did it with my finger, in order to encourage the formation of the typical clusters.
Put the baking sheet in the mid-rack in the oven, and leave it for 30 minutes: after that, take it out and using a wooden spoon break the granola into small pieces (not too small!), then stir and put it back in the oven.
The granola must sit for about 1 hour in the oven to be completely dry: during this time, the stirring must be repeated every 15 minutes, in order to have the granola uniformly golden.
Let it cool completely, than add the dried fruit.
Store it in an air tight container.

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