A tale of two Granolas

It is the hungriest of times, it is the busiest of times.

My son finishes his classes by 2.30 and gets ready for an hour of badminton coaching.  (In school itself.  Thank God!  I don't have to chauffeur him with the bored younger one tagging along.) He needs to pick his school bag, lunch box, change into gym clothes and rush down 2 floors as soon as humanely possible for the sports club.

The coaching itself is quite intense, working on his flexibility, speed of response and cardiac fitness in addition to learning the nuances of the game. It leaves his exhausted and hungry.  Though he never admits to either.  he thinks hunger and exhaustion is experienced by sissies and weaklings.  Like me.  It behooves upon me to give him something healthy, preferably high in calories to keep him content and the contrary devil in him asleep.  You know the one I am talking about.  The one which makes you argue over the silliest things and needle your younger brother until someone threatens to email the class teacher.

 I came up with an adaptation of Smitten Kitchens thick and chewy granola bar for the first week..  The first day he had it, he claimed it is pretty good.  His dad bears witness.  The third day he decided "It is not his cup of tea"  while I insisted he finish his snack.  The fifth day he decided it is pretty awful and reminds him of something served in Traditional Weddings.

My husband on the other hand thought they were store bought, high end granola bars :)  My younger son continued to eat remnants of the bar in the second week also

1 cup oats - not the instan kind, the kind that takes 5 - 6 minutes to cook (I used bagrry's) .  
1 cup amaranth seeds popped (from Fab India)
1/2 cup peanuts (organic from Restore)
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
4 green cardamom pods
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 175 degree C

Roast the peanuts and rub as much of the skin off as possible

Roast the fresh coconut to a reddish tone on an earthenware pot or in the oven. cool.

Grind a third of a cup of the oats to a fine powder along with the cardamom pods.

Butter a 9" pan, square or round.

Melt the butter along with the honey.

Mix all the ingredients together and press into the pan, as tightly as you can.

Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until the top develops a golden hue.

Cool completely, cut into bars/wedges with a serrated knife. 

Store in freezer so that the bars retain some semblance of a shape when you pack 2 at a time for afternoon snacks.  Necessary in Chennai weather.  Don't know about it in cooler climes.



I reworked the recipe keeping out whatever he doesn't like either immediately or on the long run and made a thinner crunchier version.


1 3/4 cups oats
3/4 cups wheat germ (got a packet free with my oats bag)
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup almonds chopped/pounded willy nilly (preferably not too fine)
1/3 cup no-sugar added raspberry jam, we used St Dalfour
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 175 deg C
Mix the oats, wheatgerm and coconut and toast in the oven, stirring every five minutes until parts of the mix looks a little brown (10 - 15 minutes)
Add the pounded/chopped almonds and continue toasting until the almond tastes very crunchy ;) (another 10 minutes)
Reduce oven to 150 deg C
Butter a 9" pan
Melt the jam along with honey.
 Mix all the ingredients together and press into the buttered pan.  As compact as possible.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until the granola looks golden.
Cool and cut with a serrated knife.
Store in freezer to retain crunchiness.

I am awaiting the final feedback for this week.  As of monday, awesome.

Tomorrow is a holiday on account of Varalakshmi Pooja, so the rating stays as good!

I will rephrase it as "It is a far better healthy snack than I have ever made before and It goes down far more joyfully than I have ever known before"
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