Granola was first invented by Dr. James Caleb Jackson in 1863 at the Jackson Sanitarium in Dansville, New York, a leading health spa of the day. The cereal became a very popular breakfast item and competed with JH Kellogg Grape Nuts. Kellogg made a similar version called Granola which popularized the name. In Europe and Australia this dish is known as muesli.
Packed with Nutrition
Nutritionally, granola is a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as vitamin E and B vitamins. Making your own gives you control of the amount of sugars, salt and ingredients. A wide variety of ingredients can be used to make a batch of granola. This version is very tasty, but other versions using pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raspberry, blueberry or raisins can be substituted. There are no preservatives in this homemade recipe, but the granola is great for 2-3 weeks in an airtight container.
Add White Chocolate Opalys for Sweetness
This recipe is really easy to make and tastes great when you want to treat yourself or your family to a special breakfast. It can be made beforehand and kept ready to go when you need it. I’m using White Chocolate Opalys (white chocolate crunchy cereal pearls) which are a confection made by Valrhona Chocolates. They can be used as they are here in granola or as decoration on cakes and cupcakes.
White Chocolate Pearls and Strawberry Granola
Homemade granola tastes so much better than store bought. You can control the amount of sugar, salt and add other ingredients such as white chocolate pearls, almonds and freeze-dried strawberries. This makes a great home warming gift, or can be used anytime you need something thoughtful for a neighbor or good friend.
- 4½ cup rolled oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup flour, buckwheat
- ¼ cup milk powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ⅛ cup coconut oil, warm
- ⅛ cup avocado oil (any neutral flavored oil will substitute: canola, vegetable, grapeseed)
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup OPALYS 33% white chocolate crunchy Pearls Preferably Valrhona brand
- ½ cup strawberries, freeze dried
Preheat oven to 325°F/163°C
Line a standard half (13x18) sheet pan with non-stick parchment paper. Reserve. (If you don't have a standard half sheet pan, use what you have and bake off in batches.)
Using a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (oats, brown sugar, almonds, buckwheat flour, milk powder, salt, cinnamon, coconut flakes) and mix thoroughly with a large spatula or kitchen spoon.
Melt the butter, coconut oil, avocado oil in a sauce pan. Mix the oils thoroughly and add to the dry mix. Stir to combine.
Mix the honey, water and vanilla together and add to the granola mixture. Stir to combine.
Place the granola mixture on the prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the sheet pan and granola in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. This will help the granola cook evenly.
Remove granola from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once the granola has cooled, add the white chocolate pearls and dried strawberries. Mix to combine.
Store the White Chocolate Strawberry Granola in an airtight container and use as desired.