Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
Here are five ways to make an impressive breakfast without spending half the morning.
The first on the list is homemade granola. What makes it impressive? You made it yourself with either a recipe or a mix. As is often the case, homemade is better and you can design it with the inclusions you want.
Let your imagination go when you make granola. The basic ingredients are cereal, oil, and a sweetener. Then add anything that you like to give it the character, taste, and nutrition that you want. Remember that kids’ tastes are different than yours so make two batches—granola is easy to make.
Add M&M’s and make great trail mix for those energetic kids. We like it as cereal with either hot or cold milk. And homemade granola is so much fresher—and we think better—than what you buy in the stores.
We have a homemade granola mix. (Read the reviews; it’s great.)
When we started developing this mix, we couldn’t get it to clump—it was just loose, rolled grains and goodies. It tasted great but we love those chewy clumps you find in store granola.
We experimented and read and went back and did it again. We went back and tried it again. Then we found the secret.
What’s the Secret to Making Homemade Granola that Clumps?
Most homemade granola recipes don’t clump. We couldn’t find one that did. But here is the answer:
The secret to making your granola clump is oat flour. It’s the glue that holds individual grains together. You’ll find it in the following recipe and in our homemade granola mix.
Save time and buy our homemade granola mix. Everything is there for you to mix and bake. It makes great granola with wonderful crisp clumps. You add nuts, fruit, and flavors of your choice.
Mix and Match Homemade Granola Recipe
4 cups Mountain Harvest Whole Grain Rolled Cereal Blend or other rolled cereal blend
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or flax seeds
1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or a thick syrup made with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2-3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla and/or other extract
3/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together except for the dried fruit. Set the dried fruit aside.
In another bowl mix the sweetener, oil, and extract together.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The liquids will be absorbed and the granola will become darker and shinier.
Spread the granola in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir the granola with a large spatula so that it does not over-brown on the bottom and edges. Add the optional fruit and nuts.
Return the granola to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool on the baking sheet. Letting the granola cool on the baking sheet will retain the clumps. Once the granola has cooled, scrape it into a large bowl.
Store your granola in a sealed container and use within ten days. May be stored for longer periods in the refrigerator or freezer.
Granola will become crispier and crunchier as it cools.
Because of the oil, granola will not stay fresh long. Store in an airtight container and use within two weeks. Freeze for longer storage.
Consider adding the following to your granola:
White chocolate chips
Dark chocolate chips
Peanut butter chips
Diced dried apples
Diced dried pears
Breakfast Pizzas and Three More Impressive Breakfasts
Use a mix and load it with scrambled eggs, cooked bacon, and other goodies. Because it has a thin crust, it only takes a few minutes to bake.
Mini Pannekoeken. You don’t need a special pan, just use your jumbo muffin tin. Quick, easy, and impressive.
Fancy Filled Muffins. You can fill muffins just like you do cupcakes or you can half fill the muffins cups with batter, add a spoonful of jam, and then add the rest of the batter.
Cinnamon Roll Muffins. Make cinnamon buns in a muffin pan. Because they’re small, they bake quicker.
Enjoy your breakfast!
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.