Eating Better, Quick & Easy, Recipes

Quick & Easy – Stove-Top Granola – Two Ways

I love granola. I love eating it for breakfast, as a snack, pre-workout snack or just eating spoonfuls of it every now and then (because ain’t nobody got time for self-control).

It’s one of my favorite crunchy toppings on smoothies, with chia pudding or yogurt or on my oatmeal. Since we’ve (my kids and I. Not including my husband as he is not a snacks-between-meals person) been snacking way more than usual ever since quarantine started, we’ve been running out of cereals (my kids would live on cereals if I let them) and granola, muesli at a much faster pace than usual. However, the cheeky little things would not eat the granola if they saw me making it or if it was in a new jar. So I made the granola and stored it in the jar in which I usually store store-bought cereals and, lo and behold, it was gone in days.

So, for over a month now I’ve been making my own granola. this has not just been economical but is also so much healthier than the store bought ones since we know exactly what’s going in. I’ve also got to try and make it in different flavors and using different add-ins.

In today’s post I’ll be sharing two ways to make granola that doesn’t require an oven and that you can customize endlessly with what you have in hand – like most of the other recipes I’ve shared.

Quick note: C = cup, T = tablespoon & t = teaspoon.

Strawberry Jam Granola

You can choose to make this with any jam you may have available but I’m also sharing the recipe of the strawberry-chia jam I used for making this.

For the Granola –

  • 1.5C whole oats/old fashioned oats
  • 1-1.5C mix-ins of choice – I used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dates, dried apricot, raisins, cranberries, slivered almonds
  • 2T tutti-fruity (optional)
  • 1/3C strawberry jam (ingredients & recipe below)
  • 0.5t vanilla extract or essence
  • 1T coconut oil

For the Strawberry Jam –

  • 600g strawberries (I used frozen, you can substitute with any other fruit of choice)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1.5T chia seeds
  • ~100g sweetener (I used agave powder. You can use any type of sugar)
  • Squeeze of lemon

For making the jam:

  1. Add the fruit to a large saucepan/heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lemon, add the water and the sugar.
  3. Stir to combine and cook until the strawberries breakdown completely and you have very few chunks. This may take 20-30 mins. Stir from time to time to avoid burning.
  4. When it looks almost done, add in the chia seeds and mix well. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely before storing in a clean, airtight jar.
  5. Please note that it will thicken as it cools.
  6. Refrigerate and use within a week to ten days.

For making the granola:

  1. Heat a large and wide skillet and add the oil. Add the whole oats and keep tossing until they turn golden on the edges. This will take 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Keep the heat med-high.
  2. Add the mix-ins and toast for another 3-4 minutes or until the nuts and seeds you use get toasted.
  3. Now add the jam and stir to combine. Ensure everything is coated well with the jam (but not a soggy mess). Keep stirring and cook for another minute or two. Turn off the heat and add in the tutti-fruity, if using.
  4. The granola will turn crunchy as it cools down.
  5. Once completely cool, store in an airtight jar.

If you don’t have or want to use jam, you can use any liquid sweetener of choice. My kids loved this so much they finished all of it in less than two days.

Vanilla Granola

  • 1.5C whole oats/old fashioned oats
  • 1.5C mix-ins of choice – I used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dates, dried apricot, raisins, almonds, cashews, walnuts and cacao nibs
  • 2T coconut sugar (or any other sugar of choice or jaggery. You can add more if you want a sweeter granola)
  • 1t vanilla extract or essence
  • 1T coconut oil
  1. Heat a large and wide skillet and add the oil. Add the whole oats and keep tossing until they turn golden on the edges. This will take 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Keep the heat med-high.
  2. Add the mix-ins except the cacao nibs, vanilla and toast for another 3-4 minutes or until the nuts and seeds you use get toasted.
  3. Now add the coconut sugar and let it melt while you stir to combine. Cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and let cool completely. Add the cacao nibs, if using.
  4. The granola will turn crunchy as it cools down.
  5. Once completely cool, store in an airtight jar.

I liked this version more since it was less sweet. The kids liked this too, however with more sweetener added when they ate it. Dates syrup is their favorite sweetener of choice (because I’ve told them it’s healthy chocolate syrup, parenting win or what?).

You can use the above as a base recipe and choose to make granola a thousand different ways. Switch the add-ins, try different types of sweeteners, make it as healthy as you’d like. I plan to try to make a mango jam version before the season ends and also one with some dark chocolate chips and candied orange peels perhaps? Maybe even a slightly unhealthy (comparatively) version with white chocolate chips. Let’s see.

I hope you try this recipe and if you do, please let me know how you like it. At the risk of sounding like a broken tape-recorder, I’d like to ask you once again to share this post with anyone who you think might like it. Thanks in advance.

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