Last week Wednesday we were entertaining some family for National Braai Day. What made a huge impact on our guests that day was not the gorgeous Asian Style Hot and Sour Soup I had made as a starter, nor was it Dear Husbands slow cooked lamb on the Weber served on oven fresh pitas, but rather, it was the homemade granola I had left cooling on the counter which stole the show.
Today’s post is for all of those who were stealing handfuls of my freshly toasted granola out the tray (you know who you are).
We have not been eating sugar and preservative filled cereals in our family for quite a while, but often the kiddos miss the super quick and easy help yourself to breakfast option that cereals offer. Now, there is a certain crunchy brand of muesli which you buy in a yellow packet that my kiddos really love, but as with all processed cereals it contains many of the E-number ingredients which we are trying to avoid.
I decided to try to recreate that particular crunchy muesli for them. What I needed was a recipe that did not contain copious seeds or nuts because any that did would never even make it into their breakfast bowls.
I used wheat germ in this granola. Wheat germ is the most vitamin and mineral-rich part of the wheat kernel, the embryo of the wheat plant. Because the embryo will eventually nourish the new wheat plant, it contains many wonderful nutrients. The wheat germ is removed before the wheat is processed into wheat flour, so we never really get to enjoy the benefits of it. 30 ml (2 T) of raw wheat germ contains about 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, no cholesterol and about 60 calories.* This is plenty of protein and fiber for our morning run. You will find wheat germ in the refrigerator section of your health store of pharmacy. I used this brand.
I added the almonds whole to make them easy to spot in case someone (er… Pretty Girl) insists on picking them out. I added cranberries for a little sweetness, and mostly because they are not raisins. I am really happy with the result, which smells like apple crumble when it bakes, and hence seems more like dessert than breakfast. You should feel free though to add any other nuts or seeds to the basic granola mixture should your taste demand them. I would add seeds to the mixture before baking and all fruit and nuts after.
Dear Husband, my ever eager recipe tester has been eating this particular version of granola every morning for the past two weeks. In fact, everybody that has tried it seems to love it. Everybody that is, except of course, for Pretty Girl and Handsome. Arrggghhh. Sometimes you just cannot win.
Make the most of the new season berries and add them to the granola along with plain thick double cream yoghurt and honey. It makes for a very happy (and healthy) good morning in a bowl.
- 4 x 250 ml (4 C) oats
- 375 ml (1½ C) wheat germ
- 5 ml (1 t) ground cinnamon
- 250 ml (1 C) brown sugar
- 250 ml (1 C) sunflower oil
- 250 ml (1 C) boiling water
- 125 ml (½ C) almonds, lightly toasted
- 250 ml (1 C) dried cranberries
- Mix together the oats, wheat germ, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the oil and the water and stir to mix until well blended.
- Lay the granola out on a baking tray that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 180˚C for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and stir the granola.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150˚C and bake the granola for ten minutes at a time, stirring between intervals until the granola is crisp and golden.
- Stir in the almonds and the cranberries
- Cool and store in an airtight container.