I am not a big fan of store bought cereals. However I do stock whole wheat flakes and unsweetened cornflakes for breakfast in a hurry. Buying boxed cereals with sugar and salt overload are totally avoidable as the first meal of the day. Oats is another regular during breakfast hours. That is one thing the husband has mastered in microwave cooking – Oats, frozen peas, masalas of choice, water and microwave for 4 minutes or so – for a bowl full of fibre, protein and good carbs. I prefer my oats slightly sweetened with jaggery, cooked with milk and cinnamon. When I saw this recipe for granola on Nigella Lawson’s show – combining cereals with nuts, seeds, spices – I knew I had to try this. But it turned out to be one of those ideas that keep sitting on the back burner – waiting for the right moment, to be explored. Early this week, sufficiently inspired, I went to the store and bought the necessary ingredients – Oats, cornflakes, apples, sesame seeds for the rest of the stuff I already had at home.
Ever since the waxed, coated and ‘sitting in cold storage for god knows how long’ apples from US and NZ have flooded the markets, I have totally given up apples. I hate the shiny waxy skin, I hate the pasty texture and total lack of taste. But Shimla apples are another breed altogether – they are the perfect combination of juicy, crisp and sweet and I bought 2 kilos. The timing was perfect as I could use a couple of them to make applesauce to hold the garnola together. [Recipe for applesauce at the end of the post]
The resultant breakfast in a bowl is very high in fibre from the whole grains and wheat germ, the sesame seeds are rich in calcium, iron, vitamin B1 and zinc. The taste is absolutely superlative with subtle sweetness from natural sugars in jaggery, honey, apple and the spicy sweetness of cinnamon. Try this once and I guarantee you will never buy the cardboard shards sold in the name of Muesli in supermarkets here.
Here’s my recipe – adapted from Nigella Lawson’s – Andy’s Fairfield Granola
Pressure cooker if making applesauce at home (preferable for quickly stewing apples)
Two large baking trays atleast 9X9