Lebanese granola

It is a fact that American food products have become so prevalent  in Lebanon that one can find the same boxes of cereals, cake mixes and jello as in the US. The shelves of the  supermarket near my apartment in Beirut are  filled with every  cereal imaginable. Lebanese don’t like to feel left out, you see.

I did not grow up eating cereals so I never developed a taste for them. What I do like, a lot, is granola.

Here is my Lebanese version, made with wholesome tahini and grape molasses.

Grape molasses is an ancient food; apparently the Greeks ate it and still do, and so did the Phoenicians and now Lebanese folks. Considering how bad refined sugar is supposed to be and how healthful molasses is, there is no question which of the two one should adopt as a sweetener for daily meals.

This granola is very easy to make, just watch while you toast it in the oven. Use any nuts you fancy and try it with grape molasses or date molasses or carob molasses or apple molasses,  just try it with molasses! (not pomegranate though).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1 cup of walnuts, broken in small pieces
  • 3/4 cup of grape molasses
  • 1/3 cup of tahini (to taste)
  • dash of salt (optional)
  • 1 cup of assorted nuts and dried fruits: pistachios, raisins, dates, coconut, etc

METHOD:

  1. Place the oats in a bowl; add the cut up walnuts and mix. Set the bowl aside.
  2. Pour the tahini in a small bowl; add the molasses and stir. The mixture will turn caramel-colored and will be sweet. Taste it and adjust the level of tahini, adding more if you wish to have more of a tahini flavor.
  3. Mix the molasses mixture with the oats and nuts thoroughly to coat every oat flake. When the oats and nuts are glistening, spread them out on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Toast in a preheated oven at 325F or 160C, not more, to avoid the risk of burning the oats. Check every 10 minutes and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. It should turn brown and will get crispy when cool; the process should take about 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Cool the granola. Mix it with more nuts if you wish and store it  in a closed container in the fridge. Use as needed with milk for breakfast or as a snack. It will keep for at least three weeks, if not longer.

To read about the benefits of molasses, click here.

Template for this recipe from joyofbaking.com


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43 Comments

  1. Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Miam, ça a l’air extra. Je pensais aussi à en réaliser très prochainement, c’est marrant !!
    Tu as dû te régaler en tout cas,

    Des bisous !

  2. Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Homemade granola is the best! Love the addition of tahini!

  3. Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    That version is fantastic! What a healthy granola. Perfect with yogurt and honey…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The next post at my blog is how to make grape molassa. Thanks for this recipe.I shall make it certainly

  5. Posted September 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Tres chouette ta recette, j’adore ca !

  6. Posted September 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had granola and keep meaning to make some. Your idea of adding tahini might just push me over the edge…

  7. Posted September 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    une belle réalisation remplie de bonnes saveurs, j’aime beaucoup
    bonne soirée

  8. Posted September 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    What a unique twist on granola! I’m fascinated by the grape molasses too – thanks for telling us about its history!

  9. Posted September 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Homemade granola is incredibly easy, tastes better, and is a ton cheaper than anything in the store. Will have to look for grape molasses.

  10. Posted September 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    OK, I’ll bite…why not pomegranate? Not good? I am thinking pistachios galore in my ideal version!

  11. Posted September 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Joumana,

    I am with on that when it comes to breakfast cereals. I did develop a taste for granola. Homemade granola is great and easy to make, I never thought about using tahini or grape molasses. Great idea!
    Heguiberto

  12. Posted September 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I love granola, but with tahini..oh what a perfect option …great recipe..

    sweetlife

  13. Posted September 23, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Nice granola from the usual one..looks dleicious…

  14. SYLVIA
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Joumana, It’s amazing how you add your own authentic style to each dish. I love what
    grape molasses does to the tahini conceals it, it’s a perfect complement to a hearty breakfast. This is a delicious and sophisticated spin on a classic Lebanese inspired granola. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest carbohydrates is full of vitamins, and fiber. also has the ability of cholesterol, and blood pressure lowering power. Thank you for this nutritional recipe.

  15. Posted September 24, 2010 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I love tahini. We make halva with eat and I eat it with bread. I love your twist.

  16. Posted September 24, 2010 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Your granola sounds…and looks delicious…I like the addition of tahini and grape molasses!
    ronelle

  17. Posted September 24, 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I really need to start cooking with tahini more often. This granola looks and sounds fabulous! I have only just started eating granola – mixing it with yogurt and fresh fruit. Your granola sounds more delicious!

  18. Posted September 24, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Your take on granola is better and healthier than anything to come out of a box from the West. As for petimezi (or honey), I try and used it in a recipe when I can to replace sugar.

  19. Posted September 24, 2010 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I always make my own granola, but I am not satisfied with adding sugar to it. I’ll give a try to your molasses version for sure (and let us not forget tahini.. yummy!). I also love to mix the cereal flakes I use, it gives more variety of flavour and texture to the final result. Here it is easy to find the apple one. For the pomegranate one, Eve@CheapEthnicEatz: I think it is probably too sour, isn’t it?

  20. Joumana
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    @Caffettiera: I agree, too sour for my taste; but don’t let that stop you if you like it!

  21. Posted September 24, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Awesome looking granola..

  22. Posted September 24, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana,
    Just popped in to see what’s cooking in your part of the world. Looks like I’m just in time for breakfast. Love the notion of using molasses. Not only is it scrumptious, it is so darn good for you too!!!

    Thanks for sharing…

  23. Posted September 24, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I’d never heard of grape molasses–how interesting! Just curious, what happens if you use the pomegranate?

  24. Posted September 24, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    So interesting, a middle eastern version of a granola! Are there other versions of molasses besides pomegranate and grape? [ besides regular]

  25. Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That looks like the best homemade granola I’ve ever seen! You have a lovely blog! Glad to have found you.
    -Aimee

  26. Posted September 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I make my own granola all of the time (under recipes and then breakfast foods on my site) but cannot imagine it with tahini – though I adore tahini. Somehow, they seem opposed in my palate. I am thrilled to learn how you use grape molasses. We carry it at the local Italian store, and I have always been curious about how it is used. So, that, I can understand, and try… the tahini? When a Lebonese friend makes it for me… then, I will try it!
    :)
    Valerie

  27. Posted September 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    What a healthy granola! Loved the addition of tahini in there.

  28. Natasa
    Posted September 25, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and I really like it a lot as I’m somehow really drawn to all Middle-Eastern couisines – lots of vegetables and interesting spices do it for me I guess. I was also happy to see that you are in part also of Croatian origin (me being Croatian:-).
    Regarding this granola recipe – sadly one can’t find ANY sort of molasses in Croatia, do you have any suggestions what I could use instead?

  29. Posted September 25, 2010 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What a delicious granola! Grape molasses sounds so interesting, what a great product!

  30. Joumana
    Posted September 25, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    @Natasa: I know that molasses made in Lebanon is sold on amazon.com and other sites; for substitution I would try simply honey!

  31. Posted September 25, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Joumana, thank you for sharing this! I’ve been looking for an interesting granola recipe to try. :)

  32. Posted September 25, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I love making granola! My standby uses honey and maple syrup but I’d love to try your version with tahini and grape molasses – if I can find it!

  33. Posted September 25, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I love making homemade granola and this lebanese version sounds simply divine.

  34. Posted September 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    je connais la mélasse de grenade mais pas celle ci !!bizz Pierre

  35. Posted September 26, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    This looks downright delicious (as do all your recipes). I may substitute for pomegranate molasses as that is what I have on hand.

  36. Joumana
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    @Tom: I would not use the pomegranate molasses, as the taste is too sour for me personally. Your call! :)

  37. Posted September 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    It looks beautiful and mouth watering….

  38. Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    This granola looks amazing! I love the ide aof tahini in granola – I bet it adds amazing flavor. Yum!

  39. Posted September 27, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Oooh, what a great idea! I love granola (and cereal, too, but I refuse to pay the exorbitant amount it costs here), and I really should make my own. I like the twists to make this more locally-flavored. It’s a perfect idea for this time of year, and bound to satisfy my cereal-tooth :)

  40. Posted September 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Mmm this is calling to me!

  41. shireen
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I love middle eastern and lebanese food and have been making my own granola forever but have never EVER thought to add tahini and molasses to it!! This just blows my mind.. I can’t wait to give this a try!

  42. Posted October 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Granola with Tahini! Sounds so intriguing. I can’t wait to try this one out. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    ha!!! Granola si tu n’existait pas…

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  1. [...] are too expensive for hungry cyclists. I tried adding both molasses and tahini to this batch (recipe).Amount used: ½ cup Recipe for the road? Nope. Taste: A little on the burnt side and way too sweet [...]

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