Which granola? Ina's or Nigella's?
I'm wondering if anyone has done a taste test between Ina Garten's homemade granola and Nigella Lawson's?
First, just a note that I tried to respond to the OP's post, but got that annoying jumbled mess.
Anyway Shannoninst.louis, I don't know about either of those recipes. I just started making my own granola. I read a bunch of recipes I had on hand and then just started making it up as I went along. I think this is about what I've been doing...
6 c. rolled oats
1 c. wheat germ
1 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1 c. dried cherries
1 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. raisins
1/3 c. safflower oil
1/2 c. to 3/4 c. natural peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1 Tb cinnamon
2 tsp. chipotle powder
Tb of vanilla
We've loved having the homemade stuff around, but what has been really fun is to play with the ingredients a bunch.
Last night I made a variation of Nigella's recipe from Feast, using unsweetened coconut and cashews, pumpkin seeds, and organic oats. I cut way back on the sweeteners, using a little brown sugar and honey, and substituted maple syrup for the brown rice syrup/golden syrup in the recipe. The applesauce I used was unsweetened. It didn't taste quite sweet enough to me while it was baking so I added a couple squirts of agave nectar. Added raisins and craisins when cool. This is by far the best granola I ever made. I like that it only calls for 2 T of oil, so really the fat in it is mostly healty from the nuts/coconut. This recipe and variations are a keeper!
Neither. I make one that I got from Mark Bittman in the NYTimes Very simple and very customizable.
6 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½-1 cup honey or maple syrup (or to taste)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (dried cranberries/cherries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, salt and sweetner.
Place on a sheet pan and out in oven.
Bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally.
Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.
I swear by Bittman's recipe, too, but it's the one from his book in which he uses coconut. I usually don't care for maple flavoring, but the Grade B syrup is terrific here. I use the thin sliced coconut from Trader Joe's (or Berkeley Bowl) instead of the smaller shredded kind. I like hazelnuts and pistachios in addition to the walnuts.
Not familiar with either one, but I love America's Test Kitchen's recipe:
3 c. rolled oats
1 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut
1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/3 c. canola oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey
1 c. raisins or dried cherries or dried gooseberries (or other dried fruit!)
Combined dry ingredients in large bowl & mix well. Heat oil, honey & maple syrup in a saucepan over low heat till hot. Pour into dry ingredients and stir till well blended. Spread out on large cookie sheet and bake in 325-degree preheated oven for 21-25 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes, until nice and golden. Remove from oven & stir in dried fruit. Voila! (I stumbled across dried gooseberries at Trader Joe's and they add a nice tart contrast to the granola.)
Wow! Mine is so close. Got it off the internet, and changed it a bit
4 C. rolled oats
1/2-1 C sunflower seeds (can be salted or not)
1/2 C (or more) raw almonds, whole (can also be roasted)
1/4 - 1/2 canola oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey
pinch of salt
1/2 - 1 TABLEspoon vanilla (this is the secret ingredient that makes everyone LOVE my granola, I think)
1/2 - 1 C craisins, or dried cherries, or other (love the gooseberry idea!)
Combine oats and nuts in large bowl & mix well. Heat oil, honey, maple syrup, salt, vanilla in a saucepan over low heat till comes to boil. Boil one minute. Pour into dry ingredients and stir till well blended. Spread out on 1 or 2 large cookie sheet (covered with parchment) and bake in 325-degree preheated oven for 22-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until nice and golden. Remove from oven & stir in dried fruit.
I love this recipe, although I usually replace the sunflower seeds with pecan pieces and/or cashew pieces and/or other nuts. If I only have roasted nuts on hand rather than raw, then I add those after the granola is done -- roasted ones seem more likely to burn. And I use slivered almonds.
If I'm out of maple syrup then I substitute additional honey. I don't like the recipes that call for sugar or brown sugar -- bleh.
Also, I just read somewhere else that it's better not to boil the liquids, just to heat them until thin, because you don't want the oats to start cooking until they're in the oven. However, that's never seemed to be a problem before. Also, I don't use parchment. I wonder if that makes any real difference. And I add the dried fruit (with lots of raisins) just a few minutes before taking the granola out of the oven.
According to some other threads, adding in 1/2 cup cream of wheat or wheat germ can help the granola to clump up better, so I'll have to try that soon. Also, if you press down hard on the whole mixture with something before putting it in the oven, that can help clump it up. I probably haven't discovered the best possible instrument for this yet.
I love how granola is so flexible. The possible variations are endless. (A lot of hounds seem to use a LOT less oil or sweetener, but that's no fun!)