Sunday, 17 October 2010

Crunchy Granola Suite

A recipe so good it has it's own theme music. I just can't think of granola without thinking Crunchy Granola Suite. Perhaps Neil Diamond's Crunchy Granola Suite and indeed his whole Hot August Night is so old and daggy that it's cool again? Perhaps Neil Diamond was never cool.

I'm more a cereal than toast for breakfast kind of gal. I've been happily eating store bought cereal for years. My current favourite is lovely, but only available now at one supermarket in town that I don't normally go to. A few days ago, Hannah disrupted this state of zen with her Spiced Fig, Pepita and Molassess Granola. Since then I've been plotting when to make it and thinking about how I would adapt it. Not that her recipe doesn't sound fab. It does. I just want to make it more low GI. Whilst she is young enough to chase the tall dark and handsome granolas of her dreams, I'm more after a midlle-aged quiet, low GI soul muesli. After all if you're going to go to the trouble of making your own muesli, you may as well tweak it and make it just like you want it.

Glorious Sunday Morning Low GI Maple Apple Muesli

  • 2 2/3 cups (240g) rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup (120g) pepitas
  • 2 1/2 tblsp (50mL) Logicane Low GI sugar
  • 2 tsp (10mL) maple sugar
  • 3 tblsp (60mL) maple syrup
  • 1 tblsp (20mL) sesame oil
  • 1 tblsp (20mL) canola oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2/3 cup (140g) dried apples, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Mix oats and pepitas in a bowl.
  2. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the sugar, molasses, sesame oil, spices, and almond extract. Tip the oats and pepitas into the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
  3. Spread the mix onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes,  take out and stir  to avoid its edges burning.
  4. Add  the chopped apples and stir through, then put muesli back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes, until starting to look toasted. Remember, the muesli will crisp up as it cools.
  5. Eat multiple handfuls from the baking tray as the muesli cools.

I have some fabulous Canadian maple syrup (low GI 54!) in the fridge, and a packet of maple sugar that a lovely friend sent me from Canada. So I had to make use of those. I don't know the gi of the maple sugar, so only replaced some of the low Gi sugar with it. The GI of molasses is unknown but predicted to be about the same as sugar (which is only a moderate 60). Figs are medium GI, whilst dried apples are an astonishing low GI treat with a GI of 29.

I was chicken and didn't want to double the sesame oil from the original, so I used half sesame oil, half canola. It's the right balance for me. 
The whole house fills with a delicious spicy aroma with this in the oven
It is delicious- particularly at step 5.
I'm looking forward to gobbling this batch up so I can make another and use a special spice mix I've got burning a hole in my pantry. 


  1. Oh Louise! I feel all warm and happy and delighted inside, and also mightily entertained by your twist on my romance-metaphor :D What I wouldn't give for fancy maple sugar! And you're right - step 5 is the best part of the process ;)

    (I also feel silly because I ate my batch so quickly it never actually made it into a bowl with milk... but it did work with milk?)

  2. Glad you liked the twisting of the metaphor Hannah, I thought it was inspired brilliance myself. I thought it important in a blog response. And I'm sure you would enjoy the maple sugar- it's rather entrancing. You will have to make a double batch next time- plenty left to try with milk. It did work with milk. I had it again today, with some fresh blueberries on top. Actually today I thought there was a bit much of a note from the almond extract, which I didn't notice yesterday when just eating handfuls of it, I use soy milk on my cereal not sure if that's why or not. Still, I might halve the almond extract next time. And it could have been even more cinnamony I though- I often put a shake of cinnamon onto my regular store bought muesli, so I'm used to a bit of a punch to the cinnamon taste buds of a morning.

  3. Sounds lovely Louise - love maple syrup - and I think this is one I could eat, except I never have been a cereal person. At present I'm a corn cruskett and hummus breakfast girl.

  4. I've been trying to eat more healthy foods since I've come back from France this summer. For me, the first thing I've eliminated from my diet are the highly processed foods. Goodbye, chips and frozen pizzas and fast foods. The second thing that has been reduced significantly is sweets. So long, candies and cookies and cakes and donuts.

    Instead, I've been eating fresh fruits and vegetables and cheese and fresh breads and yogurts.

    Hope I can sustain eating this way. I feel better.

    Perhaps there are further changes I need to make.

  5. Sue, it's funny how people differ with their breakfast preferences. I much prefer cereal, can occasionally do toast, but really couldn't come at cruskits and hummus for breakfast. Lunch would be fine, but I just wouldn't choose to eat that at brekkie. I was just reading a travel article yesterday about a tourist company that catered mainly for Australians cruising to the Antarctic. They nearly forgot the vegemite on time (actually they'd ordered marmite instead) and only narrowly avoided a mutiny by getting vegemite rushed over in time for sailing.

  6. Debbie, you've already done amazingly well if you've made a change that has lasted since your trip. It's easy to be inspired for a week or two, but to make changes that last months is hard. We never really ate that much processed food at home. Still, I think nearly everyone can think about their diet and improve it in some way. I know that I'm eating better at the moment, much more fruit and vegetables than I did before, and more legumes, which I only ate rather occasionally before. I'm sure they're frightfully good for me.