I find the granola bars available in the market too sweet for my liking. My mother’s friend gave her some very interesting savoury granolas from Thailand. I was lucky enough to sample one of them. It was studded with black sesame seeds, nuts, sunflower seeds,moong dal, and pumpkin seeds. I loved the sweet-salty flavour and decided to hunt for a basic granola recipe to which I could add whatever I liked.
I found Ina Garten’s recipe on foodnetwork.com and decided to adapt this.
Here is the recipe as it appears online:
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal[I used Quaker Oats]
- 1 cup sliced almonds [I used about 1/4 cup as I added a lot of other things]
- 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed [I skipped this]
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ [Added pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds, and flax seeds instead of wheat germ]
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter [skipped this]
- 2/3 cup honey [I used 1/2 cup organic honey]
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed [skipped this]
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt [I added some more salt as I wanted the granola to have a sweet-savoury flavour]
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates [I added dried blueberries and used a lot less than 1/2cup]
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots [skipped]
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F [180 degrees C]. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. [I baked the oatmel and almonds first and then added the rest of the ingredients later.]
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well. [Since I did not use butter and brown sugar, I simply warmed the honey and added it to the oatmeal mixture.]
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
The granola was chewy and had a bite to it as well. I like the fact that I can add anything to suit my taste and not be restricted by the overly sweet and expensive options.