Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homemade granola and parfait 自製甜麥片, 優格甜點

It's berry season, one of the best things in summer. My husband loves strawberries the most, but I love the blueberries the most. Strawberries are so easy to go bad, they are best consumed on the same day or in a day or two within the purchasing day. Seymour, our cat, also like blueberries. He used to like all kinds of fruits, i.e., apples, strawberries, orange, but now only reacts to blueberries. He would literally stick his nose into your face and ask for it. He's not shy at all when it comes to food!

I got some really good quality blueberries from the grocery stores; they are firm and fragrant, even after many days in the refrigerator. I try to make the best out of them. A fruit parfait would be a good idea! I made some granola from things in my pantry. It smelt so good when it was still in the oven, thanks to the cinnamon.

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups):
  • 1 cups old-fashioned oats  
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp wheat germ (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt (less than 1/8 tsp, or omit it)
  • 2 tsp of canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp of pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A Dark Amber)
  • 1/3 cup of dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F (165 C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil.

2. In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the oil and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid. (Note: The original recipe specifically emphasizes to use the rolled oats, not the instant oats. I used the instant oats, because that's the kind I have. The result is acceptable, so it really depends on personal preference.)

3. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.) 

4. Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Once the granola has completely cooled, store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.

To make the parfait:
1. First put some yogurt at the bottom of the cup.

2. Put a layer of the cooled granola on top. Then put another layer of yogurt, top with yogurt or fruit. Best if refrigerated.

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