just to preface this post: cereal is a guilty pleasure of mine. I get weak at the knees when restaurants offer granola or any toasted-grain-with-nuts-and-fruit equivalent, I can get through a box of cereal in an entire day (I miss those days of cheap and abounding cereal in london) and there is nothing I like better than a bowl of thick oatmeal with peanut butter and some dried fruit – despite all my eating, that’s the dish for me.
but cereal is incredibly expensive in singapore, and I don’t mean those frosted-honeyed-coloured-coated-flakes-for-kids that come with a toy in a box – I’m talking about proper cereal: good granola with fruit, swiss-style muesli and hot cereal mixes. I’ve found that the most economical way to still get my fill is to load up on oatmeal (see above), but sometimes I just want to do something special, which brings me to this recipe. I chanced upon this one while looking for something that was easy on the oil – you’d be surprised at the sheer amount included in many recipes out there – and that would be easily adaptable to what I had at home.
and of course when I saw that this was from smitten kitchen, I just had to try it. I didn’t get the large clusters that her original recipe was designed to create, but it’s not a criteria that means a whole lot to me – one of the greatest things in the world is to let your cereal sit in the bowl and get deliciously plump in the milk, which means my clusters fall apart anyway. I added a whole lot of coconut because I had it on hand, and because it is so tasty; and I recommend the same unless you’re one of those people who emphatically dislike the stuff. replace the nuts with what you have, and really, if you don’t care about clusters the way I don’t, then throw in whatever you want (my guess is I used so much toasted coconut that it couldn’t hold together) – just remember to only put the dried fruit in at the end, or those end up as utterly dry and depressing pebbles you’ll have to fish out in the morning.
p.s. granola is good for munching right out the jar (remember to keep it in something airtight, especially if your climate is as humid as the one here), and for topping ice cream or yogurt. brilliant stuff.
toasted coconutty granola (adapted from serious eats, taken from smitten kitchen’s smitten kitchen cookbook)
125g rolled oats
30g dessicated coconut
60g mixed nuts (I used what I had on hand, which were almonds, cashews and pistachios)
1 tbsp oil (I think I used corn oil, which I had on hand)
0.25 tsp coarse salt (use less if using table salt)
3 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 large egg white (I threw the remaining into more eggs for an omelette)
100g dried fruit, diced (I used raisins)
- preheat the oven to 150C, and line a baking sheet.
- combine all ingredients except the egg white and dried fruit in a bowl. now froth the egg white, and then distribute it through your dry mixture.
- lay this out in a single layer on your baking sheet – and bake for 45-55 minutes, turning halfway. this is when the granola started breaking for me, but try your best not to break the layer out if you can!
- when the granola is evenly brown and feels dry, transfer the pan to a pan to cool completely. when cool, break the granola into large clusters and toss with the fruit – my granola turned out in non-cluster bits, and so I just mixed it with the fruit and divided it between glass jars!