What’s the difference between Muesli and Granola? The answer is grainy.
Quite often found jostling for the same supermarket shelf space, what is the difference between these two cereals? The difference between muesli and granola is simple. While both are an assembly of pure grains, fruit, seeds and nuts, muesli is eaten in its raw form and is usually soaked in milk or other liquid. Granola is mixed with oil and a sweetener and baked before we eat it. It can be eaten with or without any liquid. The other point of difference it that my family will eat granola by the handful while the muesli sits woefully untouched in the cupboard. No amount of yoghurt, fruit or honey will make my children eat it. My husband does so grudgingly in an attempt to fill his body with the antioxidants and vitamins A and C contained in the fruit. Nuts bring protein and omega-3 oils to the table and we all know grains provide rich carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron and fiber. Unless you are intolerant. It also stops me nagging him. The problem I have is that most of what is out there to buy is very expensive and overly sweet, containing more sugar and salt than I would like. The answer, of course, is to make it yourself. This prospect has always seemed so drudgingly boring and I have dipped in and out of various recipes all too much time for too little result. Then I had a moment. I sighed inwardly and tried yet another recipe, the result was spectacular and I quickly wrote it’s secrets down and put into my red folder. I have adapted it to suit our tastes, you can start here and do the same
Red Folder Recipe – Granola
- 800g rolled oats
- 150g oat bran
- 115g pecans
- 145g walnut halves
- 150g cranberries
- 200g almonds
- 120g wheat germ
- 250g sunflower seeds
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup honey
- ½ cup maple syrup (¼ cup in the main batch ¼cup for clumps)
- I cup neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp salt
The above quantities match the readily available packet sizes in my local supermarkets and means I can simply empty the packets into the bowls. The amount can be tinkered with.
- Preheat the oven to 160ºc. Line large baking sheets if you want. I never do, but know my trays and have made this many times. You do not want to burn the bottom of your mix.
- Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. I have to use my biggest pot. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, first ¼ cup maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Divide the mixture roughly into thirds. Spread two-thirds each evenly on the baking trays and reserve a third.
- Bake the two-thirds in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool.
- while these first batches are cooking pour the second ¼ cup of maple syrup into the reserved last third. pour onto a tray and push this down with the back of a spoon so that the surface is firm and smooth. Bake this without stirring and when brown on top take out and let the mix cool undisturbed. This will be the clusters in your granola.
- Once all the mix is cooled simply break up the firmed mixture and add to the loose, then stir in the dried fruit before storing in an airtight container.
The problem I now have is trying to stop everyone grabbing handfulls of this on their journey through the kitchen.
This is a base mix and you can add anything you like. Play around with the ingredients, swap the wheat germ with rye, add coconut and use your favorite nuts and dried fruit. Make a trail mix by adding sesame seeds, dried cherries and chocolate chips or dates. Make a floater by layering Greek unsweetened yoghurt, honey, soft fruit and granola. Add a few raw rolled oats and some good quality nut butter roll into walnut sized balls and keep in the fridge as a healthy snack option. When soft fruit is not in season I puree tins of fruit and layer this instead. I enjoy this with a little almond milk for breakfast.
Using the above qualities in packets, this mix will cost you about $35.00 for 2.25kg so about $1.53 per 100g. 60g would be a recommended serve with fruit, this is a quarter the price of any good quality granola I have found. If you buy bulk from the bins it will be even cheaper.