Wednesday, 29 September 2010

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Homemade Granola/Hjemmelavet Honning Musli/格兰诺拉麦片[Gé lán nuò lā mài piàn]


Recipe makes about 1 litre (ok, the container is not full. That’s because my Significant Other has eaten some of it already :-)

Picture:
First column: Mixture ready for spreading on baking tray and into the oven

Second column: Top - Colour of the granola after 10 minutes in the oven ready for stirring. Bottom - Golden brown final product after baking (with just one stir in-between)

Third column: Finished product stored in air-tight container (Freshly made & stored on 20 May 2010)
Ingredients:
- Generally 5 parts grains, 1 part seeds, 1 part nuts, ½ part dried fruits, 1 part honey, ¼ part oil

OR

- 5 cups of your preferred grain such as rolled oats, rolled spelt, rolled wheat or rolled barley (I use 4 cups oats and 1 cup spelt flakes)
- 1 cup of your preferred/mixed seeds such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup of your preferred/mixed nuts such as almonds, pecans or walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup wheat germ (optional)
- ½ cup flaxseeds (optional)
- ¼ cup brewer’s yeast (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional, I don’t like this in my granola though)
- ½ cup of your preferred dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas, dried dates or dried apricots (optional, I add only a sprinkle of raisins)
- ½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 cup clear honey or maple syrup (I would have preferred to use solely maple syrup, as it tastes best, but it is very expensive, so I use a mixture of both)
- ¼ cup oil (i like to use walnut oil, but sunflower oil or canola oil is fine too)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients (except dried fruit) together.

3. Mix honey, oil and vanilla.

4. Drizzle the honey mixture over the granola mixture and mix everything evenly.

5. Spread the mixture on a baking tray with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown (if it gets dark, it will taste burnt).

6. Stir every 7-10 minutes to ensure even baking (for my oven, I only need to bake for 10 minutes in total and I only need to stir once in between after 5 minutes for my oven).

7. Break up any large chunks while the granola is still warm on the pans.

8. Allow to cool slightly, add dried fruits and when completely cool, store in an air-tight container or a kilner jar for 2 weeks or longer in the fridge.

Nutritional Value of Brewer’s Yeast:
Brewer's yeast is an ingredient that is used to ferment sugars to alcohol in the brewing of beer. It consists of the ground, dried cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a one-celled plant that is a variety of fungus. (However, please do not think that you can drink deer and get the same benefits! It is the yeast used in beer, and not the beer that is beneficial).

Brewer's yeast contains all the essential amino acids , 14 minerals, and 17 vitamins. It is one of the best natural sources of the B-complex vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, pantothenic acid , biotin, and folic acid . It is also high in minerals, including chromium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and selenium. Brewer's yeast is also a good source of protein. It contains approximately 16 g of protein per 30 g of powdered yeast. Brewer's yeast is a good source of RNA, an immune-enhancing nucleic acid that may help in the prevention of degenerative diseases and slowing the aging process.

 In addition to being an excellent nutritional supplement, brewer's yeast is often recommended to regulate blood sugar levels, improve the health of the skin, control diarrhea, lower cholesterol, and repel insects.

Brewer's yeast is one of the best sources of the mineral chromium. For adults, 2 tablespoons of brewer's yeast yields about 120 micrograms (mcg) of chromium, an amount equal to the recommended daily allowance. Chromium is an important factor in regulating blood sugar levels. High levels of chromium increase glucose tolerance. Diabetes and hypoglycemia are two conditions in which blood sugar levels are unstable. Brewer's yeast has been reported to help improve symptoms of diabetes and hypoglycemia, and may act to prevent diabetes from developing in persons with a family history of diabetes and in those who have problems with blood sugar metabolism. One Danish study reported that people with hypoglycemia showed an improvement in their symptoms after taking 2 tbsp of brewer's yeast every day for one month.

B-complex vitamins are important for healthy skin and nails. Persons deficient in these vitamins may benefit from taking brewer's yeast as it is rich in B-complex vitamins. A compound derived from brewer's yeast, skin respiratory factor (SRF) reportedly has wound healing properties. SRF has been a component in over-the-counter hemorrhoid remedies for more than four decades. SRF also has been used to treat skin problems. Brewer's yeast has been used in the treatment of contact dermatitis , a condition of the skin characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed skin.

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Additional Information:
I am so excited!!! I am making my own granola!!! I have a feeling that it is going to be easy, and my internet research confirmed it. But I can’t wait to see the final results of my own work, and I gotta try it this evening. I increase the nutritional value with flaxseeds, wheat germ and brewer’s yeast. Adding the brewer’s yeast is totally my own idea and it actually makes the final product even tastier. I love the end result and my Significant Other loves it too! From now on, I will not buy commercial granola anymore :-)

The word granola suggests healthy, but many commercial granolas and granola bars are anything but healthy, as they often contain an overload of sugar and fats, including a particularly harmful type of fat called hydrogenated fats (trans fat), additives and preservatives. Homemade granola bars are natural, made of whole grains, full of nutrients and not too sweet, as you can adjust the sweetness to your taste. It is a healthy alternative to packaged cereals.

I would have preferred to use solely maple syrup, as it tastes best, but it is very expensive, so I use a mixture of honey and maple syrup, but sometimes, just honey.

References:
http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,how_to_make_granola,FF.html

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