Have you noticed how popular Granola has become? It’s a breakfast cereal, a breakfast bar, a snack bar, and even an energy snack for hikers.
The oat based treat was originally called Granula by it’s founder Dr. Jackson in 1894 at the Jackson Sanatorium. He promoted it as one of his health foods in the spa which operated in the early twentieth century. (Source: www.believecereals).
Granola is basically oats, nuts, maybe a sweetener such as maple syrup, brown sugar or honey, and fruits. It’s made crisp by baking it and stirring while baking to break it up into loose pieces to keep a cereal like consistency. Alternatively, those chewy granola bars we see on the store shelves or on many a recipe page are still made with oats but baked for less time or even not at all, promoting “No Bake Granola Bars.”
I recently found a delicious Pecan Blueberry Baked Granola from Hannaford’s Market and paid $3.99 for a 1 lb. bag.
Good? It’s too good! I had to hide it from myself in the cupboard. This particular granola is made up of rolled oats, brown sugar (sugar being the 2nd ingredient means trouble!), pecans, dried blueberries, honey, soybean oil, water, salt and natural flavor. The recipe I found on Hannaford’s web site appeals to the nutritionally conscientious side of me more:
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup unsalted sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup almond oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, quinoa, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond oil, juice concentrate, and vanilla. Add oil mixture to oat mixture and stir until all contents are coated.
3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, stir, bake another 25 minutes, then add apricots, stirring to distribute. Bake until granola is golden, another 25 to 35 minutes. Watch carefully during the last 10 minutes of baking.
4. Cool granola in pan on a wire rack. When completely cool, serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November – December 2013
Do you like granola? Snack or cereal? Bars: crunchy or chewy?