Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vanilla Scented Granola

Mmm. If you ever need one reason to wake up early in morning, it's gotta be homemade granola. I love museli for brekkie and I lurrvveee granola clusters even more, but nothing irks me more than having to shell out 7 bucks for a small pack of those cheery little clusters. Feeling kinda cheated and not terribly satisfied with having to settle for the cheaper alternatives, I did what any self-respecting granola-nut would do - make my own. Duh.

I can't believe it took me this long to do this. Rolled oats, walnuts and slivers of dried coconut were tossed and held together by lashings of honey and slowly roasted to a golden crunch. Spiked with vanilla and chunks of dried apricots and dates, it was comforting and heartbreakingly delicious. I personally love it soaked in milk, but it's great on its own when you get the munchies too - I just had to help myself to a couple of handfuls before running out the door for training today. If you're a cereal lover like myself, I suggest you try this out! Enjoy!

Vanilla spiked Granola (Bon Appetit) (makes 8 cups)
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
4 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 cups dried fruits of your choice (I used apricots and dates)

Toss together rolled oats, dried coconut, walnuts, sugar and cinnamon.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring to boil the honey and oil. Remove from heat and add vanilla essence. Pour the hot honey/oil over the oats mixture and mix well (use your hands if you have to).
On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, lay the prepared oats, pressing down with your hand to compact it a little. Bake it in the oven for approximately 30 mins at 400degF or until golden brown.
Remove from oven, let it cool down and break it into chunks. Toss in chopped dates and apricot and store in an airtight container.

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