Tuesday, January 5, 2016

From my kitchen: Homemade granola


I've always prided myself on being a morning person: I don't usually have a problem waking up well before 6am (even if that also means that I have to be in bed by 10pm, otherwise I switch to my "zombie mode"). What I do have a problem with lately, is having a breakfast this early in the morning. I'm actually struggling to find something appetizing enough to complement my steaming cup of café au lait. 

There's nothing I want to see less in the morning than a copious spread of food. I love smoothies, but I prefer drinking them after my afternoon workouts. Óatmeal is simply too heavy on my stomach and the idea of toasts with ham or eggs makes me want to barf. I know that I may sound silly or spoiled, but breakfast truly is my daily struggle - and I seem to have inherited this from my mom. Apparently bad breakfast habits run in the family. 

I don't exaggerate when I say that I tried and tested virtually every kind of cereal available: store-bought granola, Froot loops, Cheeios...you name it, I had it. The problem is that, packed with sugar and various mysterious additives, they are not exactly the best example of healthy food. Plus, I grow tired of them pretty quickly. Making my own homemade granola thus seemed like the perfect alternative. I've been making it for years, experimenting with flavors and ingredients, and this one is my all-time favorite. To keep it fresh, I make it in small batches almost every weekend with whatever nuts and dried fruit I currently have at hand. This is why it never tastes quite the same, preventing me from getting bored.

I would also love to know, what is your favorite breakfast food? Are you a morning person, too? 

Homemade granola

You'll need

* 200g rolled oats
* 1tsp ground cinnamon
* juice from 1 orange
* 2tbsp maple syrup
* 2tbsp honey
* 1tsp vanilla extract
* seeds: sesame, flax, pumpkin, chia
* mix of dried fruit (dried apricots, raisins, coconut and pineapple are my favorites)
* nuts mix (hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, unsalted pistachio...)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Combine the oat flakes and ground cinnamon.
3. Combine orange juice, maple syrup, honey and vanilla extract, then stir into the oat flakes (the mixture should be moist). Sample it: if it's not sweet enough for you, you can add more honey or maple syrup.
4. Spoon the mixture evenly into a slightly buttered baking sheet.
5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, stirring the mixture regularly (every 10 minutes or so), so it bakes evenly.
6. In the meantime, combine all the nuts, seeds and dried fruit, and after 30 minutes add this mixture to the baked oats. Bake for another 10 minutes (but be careful, dried fruit burns easily, so you need to watch it closely).
7. Allow to cool completely, then transfer to a pretty jar.

You can savor this delicious homemade granola at breakfast (with a cup of milk or a yogurt) or you can nibble on it while watching TV (it's a much healthier alternative to chips or candy). I personally love it paired with homemade apple purée as an 9am-pick-me-up in front of my computer at work.


20 comments:

  1. This is such a great idea! I have already printed the recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

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  2. Mhmm I definitely need to try this. Looks really delicious.
    xo, Petra

    http://www.sweetsoflife86.blogspot.com

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  3. Looks delicious! So I'm not the only who finds getting up in the morning a challenge...

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  4. I love granola and that looks absolutely delicious! xo

    http://diaryofafashionista.com

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  5. yum! and you took such great photos dear! kisses!

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  6. This looks really good and very healthy! I'm not liking going home and it's dark already either, kind've depressing.

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  7. I am an early bird too but I wish they would stop with this whole time change thing. I hate that it gets dark so early. I feel like I dont have anytime to enjoy my day.

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  8. Hi darling, I think with this delicious post, you've just convinced us all to eat healthy...I love that this recipe contains so many different seeds and nuts, and it also sounds like the perfect afternoon snack!

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  9. Ivana- thanks SO MUCH for sharing! I am not a big fan of cereals (never have been), but I've always enjoyed granola. My boss at the salon? Her daughter started making her own homemade granola, and it's become quite a prosperous business! She sells her granola at Whole Foods even! Maybe you'd better take this delicious sounding recipe down and become a granola millionairess! ;)

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  10. i love your posts about food, it's always so yummy, i really enjoy it :)

    want to follow each other?

    www.anightinnyc.blogspot.com

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  11. yum yum yum! Love granola, it's a part of my daily diet! I love granola + yogurt <3

    xoxo Bree
    The Urban Umbrella
    http://www.theurbanumbrella.com

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  12. ivana, you are amazing! i would've never thought to do this. looks scrumptious!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  13. Thanks for giving me a breakfast idea...I could also get clueless a lot of times as to what to have for breakfast!!

    REBECCA
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  14. Oh, my!! I seriously need to do this!! You're always so resourceful! <3

    Girls that glitter love the dark
    xoxo

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  15. Looks really good! I hate store bought granola because of all the sugar and additives too. I will definitely need to try this out!
    ~Jessica
    http://jeansandateacup.blogspot.com/

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  16. OH YUM! This looks absolutely delightful!!!!! Love granola parfaits!!! xoxo

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  17. So beautiful - looks absolutely delicious

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  18. Following you on twitter now! After you have the granola, what do you eat it with?

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Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment! Let's make this a place for positivity and constructive feedback! I'm looking forward to all our conversations.

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