Fresh granola and places to get ingredients

Beginning of 2012, we decided to change our eating habits a bit. We decided to minimize the amount of processed food and to use as many fresh ingredients as possible. That’s all very vague, I know. The rule of thumb we use is:

  • No more stuff that I can make at home myself
  • No more ingredients in our food that I don’t know (meaning no more E-numbers, no more added preservatives with names I don’t recognize)
  • At most one processed ingredient

We keep a list of exceptions that holds things such as cheese, stock cubes, milk, yoghurt, butter, maple syrup and others.

Since then we’ve also started making our own granola and that’s been a blast. It’s fresh, tastes a lot better than store-bought granola, gives you a great smell in the house once a week and you can fully customize the granola with any ingredient you like.

There are plenty of recipes out there so I will keep things short here. I typically use a combination of rolled oats (rye, oat, wheat, et cetera) as a basis and then add nuts (pecan, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia, almonds) and seeds (such as sunflower, pumpkin). Then I add melted butter, sesame oil or some other vegetable oil and a sweetener (maple syrup, honey, sugar) and a bit of cinnamon. Then I add it to the oven (150 to 180 Celcius) and toss it around every 10 minutes or so until it’s browned and crispy. Then, I let it cool and add, raisins, cranberries, dried apricots and other dried fruits.

I try to add as little fat (oil, butter) as possible. Some suggest to add a bit of water instead of oil. I yet have to try that.

Places in Amsterdam where I typically get my ingredients are the following:

  • Tabak’s Notebar on the Rijnstraat. Close to the A2 highway onramp. A bit out of town but definitely worth it. Here I get all my nuts, seeds and dried fruits
  • The market (every Saturday) on Nieuwmarkt has a stand with all kinds of all and one-litre Maple Syrup containers that aren’t too expensive

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