The best and easiest granola you will ever make. Seriously.

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I have been overdoing eggs for breakfast lately!  They are just so quick, easy and delicious … every morning though, is too much.  I love porridge, but that’s better for winter and can be a bit of a faff.  A girl needs some variety, especially for the most important meal of the day.    Thank the breakfast gods for granola!

The trouble with granola is that although it’s marketed as a health food, shop bought versions are packed with sugar; and sugar is bad!  But it is very easy to make a delicious, healthy granola, limiting sugar and excluding those annoying ingredients you hate in shop bought versions.  For me that’s shaved coconut, brazil nuts and dried banana chips!

What is Granola?

Seb Emina (aka Malcolm Eggs) explains granola in his book, The Breakfast Bible: “in the popular imagination, granola is to the world of mainstream breakfast cereals what folk music is to throwaway pop … it’s unprocessed and authentic”. In other words, it’s granolas’ Mumford & Sons to Frosties’ Justin Bieber!

At it’s most basic, granola is a combination of oats, nuts and seeds, bound together with something sweet, and toasted for extra flavour.  But the glorious thing about granola is its versatility.  You can add and remove ingredients depending on taste and what you have in your cupboards at home. According to Emina, ‘Haven’t got hazelnuts? Use brazils! Short on pumpkin seeds? Top up with flax! Don’t know what flax is? Don’t worry, it’s not that nice.’

The Recipe

This is my current favourite granola recipe: a little bit naughty because of the added dried fruit … but extremely tasty!  Make this quick and easy recipe at the weekend.  It will see you through the next few weeks … depending on how addicted you become.

Ingredients

Makes approximately 700 gram jar.

  • 8 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 150 grams rolled oats
  • 75 grams steel cut oats
  • 75 grams rolled barley flakes
  • 50 grams flax seed powder (optional)
  • 80 grams seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, chia … whatever you have)
  • 75 grams raw almonds, chopped
  • 75 grams pecans, chopped
  • zest of 1-2 lemons or oranges
  • 100 grams raisins
  • 80 grams dried fruit – apricots, dates, prunes, goji berries (whatever you like)

Method

Preheat the oven to 190c/ fan 170c/ gas 5.  Mix all the ingredients, except for the dried fruit and raisins, in a large bowl.  Add the maple syrup and mix well with your hands, until the mixture is evenly coated.  Scatter the mixture over 1-2 oiled baking trays (if you line the baking trays with baking paper, even better).
Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring with a spoon every 5 minutes.  Don’t forget to check regularly … I did and my first batch got burnt!
For the final 10 minutes, add the dried fruit and give it a good stir.  After 10 minutes, remove the granola from the oven and cool.  Store in an airtight jar for up to 1 month.

How to serve

Granola’s versatility knows no bounds!  You don’t need to save it just for breakfast … enjoy it throughout the day.  Here are some ideas.

For breakfast …

  • Simple – serve with your favourite milk
  • Fruity – top with natural yoghurt and your favourite fresh fruit or try with stewed fruit in the cooler months.

At snack time …

  • Eat anytime of day au naturelle, instead of trail mix
  • Top your favourite yoghurt with a small sprinkle of granola

For dessert …

  • Good Housekeeping recommends making a delicious and healthy yogurt parfait with granola for dessert. Layer fruit, yoghurt and granola in a tall glass and chill over night.  For extra flavour add vanilla essence to the yoghurt.  Or substitute the yoghurt for your favourite ice-cream or FroYo.

Spread the granola-love … what’s your favourite combination?

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