How to make a perfect granola?
N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
Granola can be such a delicious and healthy treat, especially when it’s homemade. You can every time vary the flavors and choose, whether to make a flaky or clumped, sweet or savory granola, and it will definitely beat those store-bought ones! Most of them are, however, packed with unneeded sugars and unhealthy fats, but when you whip up your own batch, you can easily control the quality of the ingredients you use.
Here’s some common rules how to turn out a perfect batch every time:
6:1. The number one rule when making granola is the ratio between dry and wet ingredients. If you want your granola turn out like store bought ones, you need to use 6 parts dry to 1 part wet ingredients. “Parts” can be whatever measurement you want; dl, cup, a glass, one Tupperware container, etc.
Oats. You can always use some other grains you prefer, but make sure that they are pure, whole rolled ones, instead of “instant” or “quick cooking”. Those won’t hold up as well as regular rolled ones, and are usually highly processed. I like to use old fashioned (rolled) oats, because they are loaded with fiber and protein, and offer a bunch of vitamins and minerals, like iron and magnesium.
Oil. Choose an oil whose flavor and nutritional benefits you’ll get excited about. I love to use coconut oil, because it adds a gentle flavor to the granola, but for example olive oil has too strong flavor to my taste. Macadamia nut oil would also be great, and for a neutral flavor, try grape seed or canola oil. Or make a mixture of two oils, if you can’t decide 😉 . Don’t use oils high in omega-3 fats, like flaxseed oil, because they go rancid when heated!
Sweetener. These goes to that “wet part”. You can use whatever sweetener you prefer, but honey, coconut sugar or maple syrup are my favorites. Also stevia will work, if you need to cut calories. Keep in mind that some sweeteners (like agave) will taste sweeter than others, so add them a little at a time.
Nuts and seeds. These goes to that “dry ones” part, and are a must in my homemade granola, because they bring that much needed flavor, texture, extra nutrients and added healthy protein and fats. Choose always natural and unsalted versions, not those salted party mix nuts!
Spice it up. Plain granola is a safe choice, but spices makes it a special. Use cinnamon, pumpkin spice, allspice, cardamom, vanilla, etc., but add them also in dribs and drabs. Add these into your granola before it goes into the oven so the flavors can infuse the whole mixture as it bakes. And don’t forget salt! Just a pinch of it will do the wonders for your granola 😉 .
Sweet chunks. Choose your favorite dried fruits, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, etc., and chop them in tiny pieces, and make sure they’re unsweetened to keep the sugar content down. This way you’ll taste them but they won’t bring too much extra calories in your portion. Nuts and seeds can go straight into your raw oat mixture and into the oven, but stir these fruits into the hot granola not until you pull it out of the oven, so they don’t dry out.
Chunky or loose granola? Mixtures that have more liquid sweetener, will stick together better than drier ones, which means the end result will be more “clumpy”. If you want to make sure that your granola will be clumped, lightly press down on the raw granola mixture when piling it onto your baking sheet, and don’t stir it right after it comes out of the oven.
Here is one granola recipe, which I have shared with you previously. I hope you’ll enjoy your homemade granola as much as I do!