Homemade Granola - Where have all the rolled oats gone?


Homemade Granola - Where have all the rolled oats gone?

Granola. Why oh why is it so delicious?

When you think about it, it's basically just sweet, crunchy oats. I guess sweet, crunchy oats is all you really need in life. And if you happen to come across some yogurt and maybe a piece of ripe, delicious fruit- now that's what I call a champion's breakfast.

Before I first made granola at home I used to think making granola was complicated. Now I know the truth: it's super easy and sooooooo much cheaper than getting store-bought granola (especially if you are used to getting the fancy, organic, non-gmo kinds).

Another huge advantage of homemade over store-bought granola is that YOU ARE THE KING/QUEEN of your granola. You decide what to put inside your granola, and how much of each ingredient to use. For example: I HATE RAISINS, and am always looking for raisin-free granola, which is not necessarily easy to come by. So when I make my own granola, raisins become persona non grata, because, as I've just said: I AM THE QUEEN OF MY GRANOLA, HEAR ME ROAR!  

Now that you've heard me roar, let's start Granoling. Now, don't go getting all obsessed about the quantities, we're making free-style granola, so quantities don't matter that much. Adjust the quantities and add/omit ingredients to fit your taste (and your pantry).  



  • Rolled Oats - 2-2.5 cups
  • Pecans - 1 cup
  • Almonds (chopped or sliced) - 1 cup
  • Sunflower seeds - 1 cup
  • Pumpkin seeds - 1 cup
  • Coconut (flakes or chips) - 0.5-1 cup, depending on how much you like coconut 
  • Additional crunchy options: Pistachios, Cashews, Peanuts, Macadamia nuts, Poppy seeds


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (can be substituted with unsweetened applesauce for a vegan/lower claorie version)  
  • Ground cinnamon - about 1/2 teaspoon
  • Vanila extract - 1 teaspoon
  • 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup 


About 1/2 cup each of one or two kinds of add-ons, like:

  • Cranberries 
  • Raisins
  • Any kinds of dried fruit
  • Chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl before adding the the wet ingredients


1) Preheat the oven to 350F.

2) Mix all the dry, crunchy ingredients together in a bowl.

3) Cook the honey (or maple) with the butter (or applesauce) and spices on the stove top for 3-4 minutes and pour it in the bowl. Mix well until everything is coated with the syrup.

4) Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a flat tray (you'll probably need more than one tray) covered with baking paper.  

And now to the oven!

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or a little longer if you like your granola darker and even crunchier. 

6) Take out of the oven, let cool and break to smaller chunks. Mix in the add-ons. Serve with milk, almond/soy milk or yogurt. 

7) ENJOY! 


Homemade Hummus - Chickpea Heaven


Homemade Hummus - Chickpea Heaven

In the last few years, as hummus has become more and more popular in the U.S. and Europe, many new brands of hummus have appeared in grocery stores. Many stores offer local, artesian Hummus brands, and Whole Foods and Trader Joe's even sell a store-brand Hummus. Though some of these newer brands taste pretty damn good, they don't even come close to fresh, home-made hummus.

Now you're probably thinking: "that sounds complicated!". Well, wrong you are. Making hummus is actually very simple. The technique is very easy to follow and the real secret to perfect hummus is actually in the seasoning. Well, not ONLY the seasoning, but seasoning is VERY IMPORTANT.   

Before we actually start making the hummus, first I want to tell you a little bit about this wonderful dish (I want you to build up an appetite :) ). 

So what is hummus, really? In Arabic and Hebrew, the word "Hummus" literally means "chickpeas" (garbanzo beans), which is the main ingredient in the dish (though a fava bean-based version also exists). Chickpeas, btw, are considered a great source of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins, manganese and other nutrients. 

Hummus originated in Egypt and Levant and is common today in Syria, Jordan, Israel, The Palestinian Territories and Lebanon, among others, both as a main dish and as an appetizer or a spread. Hummus can be combined with meat or vegetables like mushrooms, and is usually served cold, though an even more delicious warm version, called "Msabbacha", also exists. In the Mediterranean, Hummus as a main dish is served in a plate with Pita bread, pickles and olives served on the side. Sometimes a hard boiled egg, live onion and hot sauce also accompany the hummus. 

Hummus served with fresh onion and spicy sauce

Hummus and msabbacha are made from the same ingredients. Both are made of garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon and garlic, and the difference is in the texture and the serving temperature. While Hummus has smooth consistency and is served cold, msabbacha is made with whole chickpeas and has a coarse, chunky consistency, and is served warm.

Flavoured hummus is an American invention and hummus with various flavors like avocado, artichoke or bell pepper is usually not available in Mediterranean countries.  

OK, enough talking!

Let's get down to business and make some great hummus!


Must have:

  • 1 Can of garbanzo beans
  • Tahini - about half cup
  • Garlic - 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, mashed
  • Olive oil - about 4 spoons
  • Fresh lemon juice - 3/4 cup
  • Salt - to taste

Optional (yet highly encouraged) seasoning:

  • Chopped parsley
  • Cumin powder
  • Paprika powder


1) Cook the garbanzo beans on the stove top in their own water until soft. If you are using canned garbanzo use the water from the can for the cooking. Cooking should take around 20-30 minutes. When the garbanzo beans are soft and their skin starts coming off, their ready. If you are using dry garbanzo beans, you need to soak them in water for a night, and then use the water when cooking the beans. Move the beans into a bowl

* Keep some while cooked beans on the side for later

* Don't throw out the cooking water (!), you'll use some of it later on. 

2) Add the tahini, mashed garlic, lemon juice, salt and 2-3 spoons of the cooking water to the garbanzo beans. Mix all the ingredients together. 

3) Decide now if you want to make hummus or msabbacha:

For hummus, finely grind the mixture and serve with the intact whole beans you set aside before, drizzled olive oil, finely chopped parsley and some cumin and sweet paprika on top. Serve cold.

For msabbacha, manually mash the beans (as if you were making mashed potatoes) to a pretty coarse consistency. Place the whole cooked beans you set aside before on top. Serve warm with drizzled olive oil, finely chopped parsley and cumin and paprika on top.

4) Warm up a pita bread

5) ENJOY!