The sweet deliciousness of Israeli granola, brought to you by - you
Homemade granola is easy to make, and far healthier and tastier than store brands. Vered Guttman elucidates the secret to making great granola.
Granola is one of those pantry staples that’s worth the small effort of making at home.
Not only does it taste so good, and better than mass-produced granola - I’ve yet to find a store-bought version that I really like -but you can also control the amount of sugar and fat you put in it.
Once you’ve found a recipe you trust, you can then tweak it as you like, as I often do with this granola recipe.
I use a combination of olive oil and butter to enhance the flavor and crispiness of the granola.
To sweeten the granola, I prefer a combination of honey and silan. Silan is date molasses that is popular among the Iraqi Jews and is widely used in Iraq, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. It’s worth getting to know this product, an interesting substitute to regular honey. One simple use for the date molasses, in addition to granola, is to drizzle a spoonful over vanilla ice cream together with a spoonful of tahini.
You can find date molasses (also known as date honey or date syrup) in Middle-Eastern grocery stores and in some kosher markets. If you can’t find it, just use the same amount of honey, instead.
The real fun part is deciding on the combinations of nuts and dried fruit. The nuts should be raw, as you’ll be roasting them with the rest of the ingredients in the oven.
As for the dried fruit (except the coconut flakes) it’s better to mix them into the granola after it’s already cooked.
I love the combination of candied orange peel with dried figs, but I always look for new ideas at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods - candied pomegranate seeds for example, are a healthy, crispy option. Goji berries, dried bananas, freeze dried strawberries, or dried mulberries from your local Middle-Eastern store are all good options to play with.
Serve the granola over plain Greek yogurt with berries on top, drizzle with a little date molasses or honey and have a wonderful day!
Vered Guttman is a caterer and a food writer based in Washington DC. Growing up in Israel she took her first lessons in Jewish cooking sitting at the tables of her two grandmothers, one from Poland, the other from Iraq. In Modern Manna, Vered will share a mix of new Israeli trends and old Jewish traditions, sprinkled with a distinct Sephardic flavor. Follow Vered on Twitter @veredguttman