Who doesn’t love granola? I started making my own as most shop-brought ones are completely laden with sugar and syrups and those that are lower in sugar are so expensive. Making my own granola was actually the first step I took in drastically reducing my sugar intake and therefore transforming my taste buds. Now I can no longer go back to eating shop brought granola because I’d just find it far too sweet. I do like sweet things, but its for naturally sweet foods like bananas and sweet potatoes. What baffles me is why we need to add so much to our breakfast cereal in the first place. Yes, its sweet and crunchy but what is it actually doing to our bodies? Surely having a bowlful of hidden added sugar in our cereal is not the best way to start to the day nutritionally. So here I’ve made it a bit easier to choose the healthier option. My granola is packed full of nuts, seeds and dried fruit so is full of goodness you and your body will love. I use a mix of coconut oil and nut butter to flavour the oats and bake in the oven at a low temperature. The result is a slightly crisp, oaty, nutty cereal with a tiny bit of sweetness. This leaves you to add your own sweetness, in the form of fresh fruit, yogurt or even a drizzle of maple syrup. It is tricky to achieve a really crunchy texture with such little sugar but trust me it’s so much better for you. Its completely up to you whether you want to add maple syrup or not, I just love the unsweetened, nutty flavour of the oats. For this granola, you can use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you have in the cupboard, so you don’t have to go out and buy the ingredients especially. And if you don’t have cacao nibs, simply leave them out. This recipe makes a large jar or two smaller jars which should last you a couple of weeks. Then you can just whack some in a bowl, pour over milk and you’re good to go. A delicious breakfast cereal that nourishes you with an array of different nutrients so you can have the best day, every day. I really hope this granola becomes a staple of your morning, like it has for me.
Makes 1 large jar
70g mixed nuts, chopped (I use almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts)
50g mixed seeds (I use sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
100g mixed dried fruit (Raisins, sultanas, cranberries and apricots are nice)
1 tbsp water or orange/apple juice
4 tsp cinnamon, ginger or chai spice or a mixture
3 tbsp cacao nibs
180g coconut oil
2 tbsp nut butter
1 tbsp maple syrup, optional
- Preheat the oven to 160 C fan.
- Add the oats, chopped nuts, seeds, spices and cacao nibs to a bowl and mix until combined.
- In a saucepan, add the dried fruit and water or fruit juice. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. This stage helps the fruit plump up and become juicier and more flavourful.
- While waiting for it to cool slightly, line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add the fruit to the bowl of dry ingredients.
- Using the same saucepan melt the coconut oil and add the nut butter and maple syrup, if using.
- Stir together over a low heat until it’s all melted and combined.
- Add it to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, making sure the oats are coated in the coconut oil.
- Pour onto the lined baking tray, pressing it down as much as possible to help it form clusters.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
- Once cooked, leave to cool completely and store in an airtight container or jar in the cupboard.
- Make it gluten-free using gluten-free oats.
- I like using jumbo oats because as they make a chunkier texture.
- I use organic raw virgin coconut oil, which I get from my local Grape Tree store.
- I use a high sided baking tray to push the mixture right into the corners, which forms bigger clusters.
- Putting something heavy on top while baking the granola (for example another baking tray filled with baking beans) weighs the oats down, making them stick together and form bigger clusters.