A traditional midnight snack for those fasting during Ramadan is yogurt. Thought of to be filling and helpful with digestion, a little pot of yogurt can be purchased at a grocery store or even ordered at a restaurant serving a sohour (pre-fast meal) menu. Of course, what better way to spice up your pot of yogurt than with a spoon or two of granola! Although granola is a rather loose term for an oat-based mixture of toasted fabulousness, this recipe, adapted from a number of recipes I have found online, is one with a bit of a Ramadan twist, consisting of the nuts used most commonly in Ramadan for rice with khalta (rice with mixed nuts) and khoshaf, a sweet drink of mixed nuts.
Although a number of mueslis can be found on the shelves of Cairene supermarkets, the only granola in Egypt seems to be in granola bar form, filled with artificial sweeteners and preservatives to last you two to three years. This recipe for granola will last a couple of weeks but is easy, relatively healthy, and will give you a good energy boost whether for iftar (breakfast), sohour or early breakfast for those not fasting.
Ingredients (for approximately 20 servings)
5 cups of white oats
⅔ cup finely chopped almonds
⅔ cup finely chopped walnuts
⅔ cup finely chopped cashews
⅓ cup peeled sunflower seeds (I had to peel them myself. If you can find them peeled, let me know where!)
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup honey
⅔ cup sunflower oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Craisins (optional) or raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Mix oats, almonds, walnuts, cashews and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
3. Boil salt, sugar, maple syrup, honey, sunflower oil, ground cinnamon and vanilla in a sauce pan.
4. Pour saucepan mixture over oats mixture and mix together to coat evenly.
5. Cover two baking sheets with foil.
6. Spread oats coated in sauce over the foil evenly.
7. Place in the oven for 10 minutes – remove and stir around (very important, otherwise the bottom or sides will burn and affect the taste of all the granola).
8. Place in the oven for approximately 10 more minutes – a little longer if you’d like your granola a little more crunchy.
9. Take out and cool mix in raisins or Craisins. (When you remove granola and break it apart, watch out that you don’t end up with foil as the granola sticks a little to the foil.)
10. Add a spoon of granola to your yogurt and top with a teaspoon of honey. Place the rest of your granola in a airtight container – it should remain edible for two weeks to a month.