Whether you prefer your granola savoury or sweet, in clusters or flaky, a great granola always starts with some simple rules. These 4 tips to make perfect granola are easy to follow and will ensure you make the most delicious granola every time. Granola is an easy to make, healthy breakfast option or anytime snack for the family. It’s a blank canvas that lends to a variety of flavour combinations and is made from a simple base of oats, sweetener, oil or butter, and dried fruits and/or nuts.
Why make your own granola? For starters, it’s usually cheaper (and healthier!) than store-bought options, it requires limited kitchen tools to make, besides the fact that you will most likely have many of the ingredients already in your pantry. Plus, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually very easy to make!
1. Temperature Makes a Difference
Slow and low is the general term used when preparing granola. Preferably, the maximum temperature at which granola should be baked is between 300-325 degrees. Higher temperatures can cause ingredients such as nuts and seeds to burn before the granola has a chance to properly dry out and crisp up. If you are short on time and do raise the temperature, be sure to stir the granola every 3-4 minutes to avoid burnt bits.
2. How to Make Substitutions
Granola is so forgiving when it comes to making ingredient substitutions. As a general rule, keep your ratio of dry-to-wet ingredients roughly the same as the original recipe. If substituting only dry ingredients or only wet ingredients, you can mix any variation as long as you keep the same ratios. Keep in mind that some sweeteners are sweeter than others so you may need to add less at first (of agave, for example) then taste as you go and increase the amount, if needed.
3. When to Mix in Additional Ingredients
In general, nuts and seeds can be mixed directly into the granola before you bake it so that they can toast and develop more flavour. Dried fruits tend to dry out too much and are best added once the granola is already cooked. This ensures that they don’t burn and will maintain their fresh flavour and chewy texture.
4. Don’t Go Overboard With Spices
Spices can make such a difference in the overall flavour profile of granola. Start with about 1/2 a teaspoon of a spice and add more during the cooking process, if needed. This ensures that the spice won’t overpower the overall flavour of the granola. Also, don’t forget to add some sea salt (about 1/2 tsp.) as it balances out the sweetness of the granola.
Ever wonder how to make homemade granola? Here’s a helpful infographic to get you started:
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