Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mango Ginger Granola and Shortcut Greek-Style Yogurt

All I want to say about this post is that granola and Greek yogurt are two items that are pricey in the store and extremely easy and inexpensive to replicate at home.  Give these a try, you won't regret it.  They're becoming a staple in our house. Also, (as I am always the bargain-hunter) I wanted to share that the best deal on honey I've found is at Walgreens.  Every few weeks they will sell a 32 oz. bottle for $3.99 with an in-ad coupon.  Now that I've shared that, please leave some for me!  Finally, this granola would make a great edible gift for someone.  Put it in a pretty glass jar or cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon.  They'll be impressed! 

Mango Ginger Granola
1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola)
1/4 cup agave syrup (or extra 1/4 cup honey)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup chopped almonds (I just smashed whole almonds in a baggie with a rolling pin and really like the rustic texture that gave them but you can sub slivered or sliced)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 cup diced dried sweetened mango (can substitute other dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, apricots etc. or a combination for other varieties)

Greek yogurt for serving (see note)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Mix the oil, agave syrup, honey, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and vanilla in a small bowl, whisking until smooth.  In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and salt.  Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir, making sure everything is evenly coated. Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees, stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Toss in diced mango (or other dried fruit) and sunflower seeds.  Store in an airtight container.  Serve with Greek yogurt (or milk, or over ice cream or handfuls right out of the container...).
Note on Greek yogurt: Greek style yogurt is much thicker and smoother tasting than traditional yogurt.  Until a few years ago, I had never heard of the stuff, but now it is readily available and showing up in more major brands all the time.  It's higher in protein than regular yogurt and I really love its "spoonability."  That said, Greek yogurt is a bit pricey.

You can make your own cheaper, shortcut version by buying and straining containers of regular yogurt (of course you can make your own yogurt from scratch too, but let's not get to crazy today!).

To make shortcut Greek yogurt, line a fine-meshed sieve with a cheesecloth or paper towels and place over a bowl.  Spoon regular yogurt (we usually do plain, any flavor or milk fat will do) from a large container into the lined sieve and place in the refrigerator.

Allow yogurt to sit until desired consistency (at least a couple of hours).  The extra liquid will drip into the bowl underneath and the yogurt remaining will be thick and rich.  If you let it go for more than a few hours, it will get almost as thick as cream cheese (actually called yogurt cheese and good for some uses, but probably not for eating with granola any more).  Also, you can use the leftover liquid mixed with some milk in pancake batter. 
it was a hit with the small one (as seen by his scraping the dregs...)
Granola recipe heavily adapted from Bobby Flay's Mango Agave Granola


  1. I came across a tip once that I continue to use any time I have to measure out sticky stuff like honey or agave: If you spray the measuring cup with non-stick spray first, it won't stick! Hope someone else finds it as helpful as I have.

  2. Thanks for the reminder on the cooking spray before measuring the sticky stuff! I know I've seen that before and even used it when measuring molasses for cookies. Oftentimes I'm bad and just "eyeball" it for one less dish to clean...

  3. Mango and ginger tastes good for the Greek-style yogurt.

  4. How long does this last? If I were to make it for Christmas presents this month and store it in mason jars, would it still be okay by Christmas?
    Thanks!! I can't wait to try it.

    1. Good question! It normally hasn't lasted long enough to test out the shelf life, but I actually came across a forgotten Baggie of some just the other day (that was made three months ago). It definitely wasn't as crisp, but the flavor was still pretty good. I would think you'd be fine making them up here soon and giving them as Christmas gifts.

    2. P.S. thanks for coming by and I hope you have a Wonderful Holiday season!!!