Skip to main content

Home-made Granola

I'm a cold cereal lover, but there just isn't much choice in cereal available here at a price I can afford.  So, there's corn flakes and there's corn flakes....about three brands of them sometimes!  So, without Wheaties, Frosted Mini Wheats, and Raisin Bran, what do we do for breakfast?

We can buy oatmeal here, so we have that once or twice a week.  One day a week we do eggs.  Once a week we eat fonio (I'll do a blog on that later).  On Saturdays John always makes pancakes.  And on Sunday we'll often have something like coffee cake or sticky buns....that kind of depends on my energy level on Saturday!  But one of my favorite breakfasts is yogurt with granola on it.  

Sometimes in the stores here I can find Muesli Croustillant - Chocolat Noir.  Yep, you read that right.  Muesli with dark chocolate in.  See, the French have figured out that chocolate is a breakfast food.  I can't argue with that!  So when one day I went to the store and there was no more Muesli with chocolate chunks in it, I didn't know what I would do.  This cereal was actually quite reasonably priced, but alas.....who knew when the next shipment would be.  It was time to dust off the old granola recipe that I haven't used for about four years.

First off, what's the difference between granola and muesli.  Granola is mixed with oil and honey and toasted in the oven.  Purchased granola can be very high in calories, depending on how much oil and sweetener is in it.  Muesli is more just dried cereals and grains mixed together.  What I make is definitely granola, but I put in the least amount of oil possible.  The end result is granola that is quite loose and not in big chunks.

My recipe is from the More with Less Cookbook.  This book uses basic ingredients and shows us how to "eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources".  The recipe is on p. 89 if you have the book and want to use the recipe there.

It calls for 7 cups of dry ingredients with at least 2-3 cups of that being oats.  So I put in my granola:
oatmeal (imported)
cornmeal (local ingredient)
coconut ("local" ingredient....probably comes from Benin)
milk powder (imported)
crushed cornflakes (imported)
sesame seeds (local ingredient)
peanuts (local ingredient)
fonio (local ingredient)
millet (local ingredient)
wheat germ (brought from US)
flax seed (brought from US)

Then you combine separately to make 1 cup of liquids:
1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons water (imported from Nigeria)
1/2 cup oil (imported)
the rest honey (local ingredient)

You then pour the liquid into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until it is evenly coated.  Then you spread it on cookie sheets (I use two really large sheets) and put it in a 300 degree oven.  My oven has a tendency to get hotter and hotter, so I have to stir it about every 8 minutes. I also switch the pan from the bottom rack to the top and the top to the bottom.  I take it out when it's no longer moist and is just starting to look brown.  More with Less says to let it bake 30-60 minutes, but I find that 30 minutes is plenty of time in my oven.

Then the piece de resistance....the chocolate.  I chop up a dark chocolate candy bar and stir it into the granola.  Half of the granola I stir raisins into (I think they're really currants) for John as he's not find of the chocolate idea. (I cut up the cereal boxes to use as my labels.)  Ummmm, yum.....perfect on top of yogurt.  I don't put sugar or vanilla into my yogurt as I find it sweet enough with the granola.

I also found a recipe in my bread machine cookbook that calls for granola.  I made this bread with my home-made granola (the raisin version) and it was delicious!


Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…