I find muesli and other untoasted granolas upsetting and bland. The nutritional benefits are a plus, and everyone appreciates dried fruit, but I have a hard time dealing with that dusty, raw, powdery coating. As a result, I tended to leave barely tapped bags sitting in my cupboard for months, until I discovered an easy way to alleviate the sadness of a flavourless, pasty granola: Simply pan-toast it in salted butter.
Giving your granola a tasty fry in the pan is easy, improves the flavour at least ten-fold, and gives it a rich, brown hue. The slightly salted, butter-toasted granola becomes crispy, loses all that dustiness, and pairs wonderfully with tangy yogurt. There are certainly folks who would hate the idea of spoiling such a nutritious breakfast with butter, but, honestly, the nutrients will still be there, and I’ll actually eat it, which is better than not adding butter and leaving it in the purgatory of my kitchen cabinet for all eternity.
How to butter fry granola
Grab a medium pan and heat it over a medium flame. Add enough salted butter to coat the bottom — around half a tablespoon. Let it melt until it begins to foam and lightly sizzle. Add a serving of granola to the pan, roughly one quarter cup, and stir to coat with butter. Bring the heat down to medium low, and continue to stir the granola so it toasts evenly. After a few minutes you’ll notice the oats begin to brown. Keep on stirring until the colour has shifted to a tempting golden brown hue. (A few pieces might be extra tan, but that’s perfectly fine.) Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool for five minutes before eating.
To reiterate: You need to to stir constantly while cooking your granola, as the oats will start browning quickly once they get started. This method works well with granola or muesli containing dried fruits; the fruit won’t burn as it’s only heated for a few minutes. I haven’t tried it with added sugar or pre-baked granolas because they aren’t as inherently disappointing as unbaked granolas, but I suspect they might not do as well with pan-toasting because the added sugars may melt and burn in the pan — but do let me know if you try it and it works. In the meantime, use your now butter-toasted granola to top yogurt or ice cream, or make a double serving and enjoy it with some almond milk.
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