Since the news dropped that I would be living and working in Japan for a year starting in September, I’ve kind of wanted to take more opportunities to do American baking before I leave. If there’s one thing that I learned while living in Japan last time (besides more Japanese, cultural understanding, blah blah blah), it’s that a lot of the foods that I’m used to as someone from the U.S. just aren’t as available in Japan. And if there are some things that you can manage to find in the international section of a grocery store, it’s usually wicked expensive. One of those things happens to be oats. Things like oatmeal and even granola are hard to find and cost a lot more than they do over here.
So since I start work next Monday, I figured that I’d bake up a batch of something that will be easy to throw into a bowl and eat before leaving the house (or maybe even in the car while my sister drives if the need arises).
On the same Japan-related note, I’ve also been inspired to share another quick and easy granola recipe that I took full advantage of at my host family’s home in Kyoto. The best part is, it’s done in the microwave.
That will be my next post, though haha.
Anyway, this recipe should work up to around 3 Weight Watchers points per 1/4 cup (or 5 1/2 pts for 1/2 cup). That’s not great, but it’s still better than a lot of the store-bought stuff. I have made recipes in the past that have replaced the oil with applesauce and they came out okay, but it’s definitely not the same when it comes to crispness. If you’re not necessarily on a diet, but you’re still looking to make healthier choices, you can definitely eat a larger serving. For the rest of us, it can still make a very good breakfast if bulked-up with light yogurt (maybe making it 5 pts total) and guilt-free toppings like fruit.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 4 c old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 c brown sugar (light or dark), packed
- 1/4 c oil (I used canola, but you can use coconut or whatever else)
- 1/8 c pure maple syrup
- 1/8 c honey
- OPTIONAL: Instead of doing 1/8 of maple syrup and honey, you can do 1/4 c of just one
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
Now, if you’re in a hurry (like many of us are), you can totally just mix everything together in a big bowl and bake it. However, you can also take your honey/maple syrup and oil and heat it up on the stove, then add the vanilla at the very end before adding it into the rest. If you don’t, just be sure to mix it well.
Once thoroughly combined, spread it as thinly as possible onto two separate cookie sheets and bake it for 40 minutes or until browned (it can burn easily if you don’t watch it). You’ll want to stir it around every 10 minutes or so to make sure that it doesn’t burn.
When the 40 minutes or so are up, remove the trays from the oven and let it cool (you can also stir it around to help it cool faster). It will crisp up as it cools down, so don’t be discouraged if it’s not quite as crunchy as you imagined after you first pull it out!
And there you have it! Easy, healthy, and delicious granola that’s 10x better than anything you’ll buy at the store.