You could hang around the kitchen for 45 minutes to an hour, hand-crafting a jumbo batch of artisanal granola. Follow it up with 20 minutes of scrubbing bowls, measuring cups, countertops and a cookie sheet.
Or you could make my above-pictured, wondrously delectable granola. In 5 minutes. In one mug.
You don’t have to share.
You can pinch yourself now. You’re not dreaming.
This is all that you need ingredients-wise (fruit is optional, so I’m not including it–or the water–in the “five” ingredients.
Now get your granola groove on! Here’s how:
(1) Measure everything EXCEPT the dried fruit (if you are adding dried fruit; you don’t have to. Raisins haters rejoice) into a large mug. Stir it up with a fork so the oats and nuts/seeds are coated. It’s important to leave out the dried fruit at this stage. Microwaving chopped dried fruit for several minutes leads to teeth-breaking bits of coal.
(2) Next, a moment of abject TERROR: You will need to (gulp) set the power level button (yes, said button exists on your microwave) to Medium (50%). You may have never touched this button before now. You can do it. Apply finger and push until it reads either Medium or 50% power. Breathe. You did it.
(3) Microwave on Medium (50%) for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 minutes total, stopping halfway through to stir (the oats and nuts/seeds at the bottom of the mug will toast faster than those at the top). You read the correctly: toast. The oats and nuts/seeds get toasty, golden and fragrant. In the microwave. Really and truly!
(4) Add the dried fruit (if using) and stir things up one last time. The granola will be perfectly crispy in a few minutes as the oats cool.
You can tweak this basic recipe with whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dried coconut, extracts, citrus zest that suit your fancy. My fancy tends to be very fancy, so I often add a little bit of everything :). The base recipe is pretty forgiving, so adjust the sweetener and salt—a bit more, a touch less—or add a pinch of a favorite spice.
Eat the granola straight up as an energizing snack, or add a splash of your favorite milk for a complete meal. With the energy you’ve gained (oat power!), and the time you’ve saved, you will want to run, skip and jump for joy!
Happy eating (and playing!)
Don’t forget to enter my book giveaway! Enter here: Win 1 of 10 Copies of my book, 250 Best Microwave Meals in a Mug
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
- 2 tsp water
- 2 tsp oil (e.g. olive oil, melted coconut oil, butter if not vegan)
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tbsp chopped nuts or seeds
- Optional: 1 tbsp chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, apricots, cranberries)
- In the large mug (14 to 16 oz), mix the maple syrup, water, oil, salt, oats and nuts until blended.
- Microwave on Medium (50%) power for 2 minutes. Stir, making sure to stir up any syrup on the bottom of the mug. Microwave on Medium (50%) power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes longer until oats are golden brown.
- Mix in the dried fruit, if using. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes to cool before eating.
*Spices: Add between ¼ tsp and ¾ tsp (1 to 3 mL) of any sweet spice (e.g., cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, allspice) along with the salt in step 1.
*Extracts & Zest: Consider adding a few drops of vanilla or almond extract to the syrup mixture, or ½ tsp (2 mL) finely grated citrus zest (e.g., lemon, orange or lime).