Granola. Not only a pretty name, but also a pretty cool snack or breakfast. And while best left to the occasional treat, I can’t think of any fruit salad or compôte that isn’t improved by a sprinkle of crunchy sweet granola. And yogurt wthout granola is just yogurt. I even add it to my porridge sometimes if only porridge doesn’t cut it – carbs anyone?
While still a popular breakfast or snack choice, many are not aware that it is actually really easy to make granola yourself – in fact, it is so easy that I don’t understand why you would want to rely on packed granola from the supermarket that is loaded with sugar, industrial oils and a heap of other ingredients that sound like a chemical weapon.
Making your own granola has an array of health benefits, some of which include:
- It is quick and easy, and as granola lasts for aaaages you get maximum results with minimum efforts.
- If your house is cold – and that means ten out of twelve months if you live either in Melbourne or Europe! – you get a nice warm kitchen at least (that means if the granola makes it into your oven in the first place, see 4.).
- The smell your house gets filled with is divine.
- You get to lick your fingers in the process.
- You can add whatever you like so it is a great way to use up those stale dried cranberries you bought for Thanksgiving last year. It also means you can make it as healthy (or unhealthy) as you like.
In fact, as granola is so incredibly easy to overeat, you really want to get the most nutrition bang for your calorie buck, and this is where this recipe comes in – which can also be customised in many ways, of course. Oats and/or quinoa or other grains provide fibre and slow carbs for a healthy digestion and stable blood sugar as well as numerous minerals and good protein, a dash of coconut oil (the heatlhiest fat around), and nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for their numerous known health benefits.
3 cups (200g) rolled oats (certified gluten free) or other rolled grain such as quinoa
1/4 cup (50g) melted coconut oil
3 oz (84g) honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup
1 cup (150g) any combination of nuts, seeds and/or dried fruit: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas, dried cranberries, dried sour cherries, raisins, sultanas, slivered almonds etc. are all excellent choices
1 oz (28g) shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Spread the grains evenly on a lined baking sheets. Combine the oil and honey/maple syrup/rice malt syrup, mix into the grains and bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add the nuts, seeds, fruit, and coconut and bake for another 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight jar in the pantry (lasts several weeks). Serve with milk of choice, fresh fruit, and/or yogurt.