4 Tips For Cooking Tasty Granola
Granola refers to a mixture of honey, nuts, rolled oat and puffed rice that is usually eaten as either a snack or breakfast cereal. It’s a popular option not only for being low in fat and sugar, but because it’s high in fiber, which can help regulate your digestive system. Plus, it’s easy to assemble, and offers chefs of all skill levels a chance to practice a few different culinary skills.
Grab a bowl and a spoon, here are some helpful tips for cooking with granola:
Always use oil
Not including oil in your granola recipe is a way to make it all that more healthy. However, granola sans oil is often rather dry and provides a challenge to consume. To address either concern, it’s a good idea to use a healthy oil option. Olive oil is one such choice. The flavor won’t interfere with the nuts and oats, and olive oil’s overall fat content is decidedly low compared to some other options. You might also want to try using coconut oil or sunflower oil, which are also healthy alternatives. Whenever possible, avoid vegetable oil, as it contains a lot of saturated fats.
The mixing order is crucial
There are a few different ways to prepare granola. Some chefs will combine all the ingredients at once, which is more efficient. Some will opt for wet ingredients before the dry ingredients, or vice versa. However, if you’re concerned with the flavor of your granola, the best bet is to combine the wet ingredients and then mix in the dry ingredients. That means putting together the egg whites, your chosen oil and any sweetener, like honey, agave or maple syrup. Once those have had some time to gel together, add in the nuts and grains.
Consider the cooking temperature
As a rule, granola tends to brown rather quickly, perhaps more so than some recipes will actually indicate. So, you’ll want to try and take a more active role in their browning process. To do so, cook the granola at no more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure that you stir every 10 minutes. This will help you both monitor the granola’s process and help the mix to cook more evenly throughout. As an extension, don’t leave the granola mix to cool on baking sheets, as this will allow it to continue browning. Instead, transfer it to a big bowl for continued stirring.
Add the mix-ins last
No granola recipe can be complete without some add-ins. Whether fruit, a dash of cocoa or some coconut, these add a nice bit of flavor and sweetness to granola’s inherently earthy flavors. However, it’s important that you always add anything at the very end of the cooking process. If you bake these in with the actual granola, they can lose their flavor and end up with a leathery texture. Always toss any fruit with a tablespoon of cornstarch, which will keep it moist and better separate it from the granola itself.
Other tasty mix-ins include:
- Dried berries.
- Peppermint extract.
- Dark chocolate.
- Peanut butter.
- Pumpkin puree.
Fine-tune your granola-making skills when you take baking courses online.