Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Recipe: Granola Goodness

Good Day Everyone,

Whilst I love my fresh fruit and homemade smoothies for breakfast there are times when I just fancy something a bit more filling and that’s where my homemade granola plugs the gap nicely. Not only does it taste great but it’s full of lots of nutritional benefits due to the nuts and seeds I use.

Whilst you can buy granola (and some brands/types are better than others) ultimately the company that makes the granola is rarely going to prioritise your nutritional health over their profit margins and so I prefer to make my own. This granola is incredibly versatile and can be eaten in so many different ways. My hubby has it for breakfast with natural yogurt and fresh berries, I tend to eat it as it is with my daily cup of coffee or as an afternoon snack, my dad likes it crumbled over piping hot custard as a dessert, whereas my younger brother likes it crumbled over his favourite ice cream and my mum likes it in all of the above ways :o)
I will often make the granola in bun cases as it’s easier to hand out to friends/family or for my hubby to take to work, rather than baking it in a tray and cutting it into bars/squares -  as it always seems to crumble!!! My mum has recently started making it and she does bake hers in a tray and quite likes it crumbled as she can store in an airtight container and sprinkle it over yogurt/custard/ice cream etc whenever she likes.

I also make this granola in the teeny tiny bun cases as it looks sooo cute when served on the side of a cup of tea/coffee when we’re entertaining friends.

  • 200gr rolled oats
  • 100gr unsalted nuts (I tend to use baked cashew nuts and almonds)
  • 100gr seeds (small seeds like chia/flaxseed/sesame or big seeds like sunflower/pumpkin)
  • 100gr dried fruit (apricots/cranberries/raisins or even fresh dates)
  • 100gr unsalted butter
  • 100gr brown sugar
  • 2 regular/dessert spoons of honey
  • 2-3tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ - 1tsp ginger powder
  1. If using dates/apricots chop them into small pieces
  2. Chop the nuts into small pieces (I chop almonds/cashew nuts into 3-4 pieces per nut)
  3. In a dry (no oil/butter) heated frying pan, dry roast the oats, 1/3 at a time until the colour changes ever so slightly
  4. Dry roast the chopped nuts in the frying pan
  5. Heat up a large pan/cooking pot and add the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and ginger. Melt and mix until the ingredients become syrup like and then turn off the heat
  6. Into the syrup mixture, add the nuts, seeds and fruit and mix thoroughly
  7. Then add the oats to the syrup mixture and mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture for sweetness, cinnamon and ginger levels and add more, if required to suit your taste
  8. Spoon the mixture into bun cases (I usually get 18 regular sized bun cases from this quantity)
  9. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes at 160-180 degrees Celsius
  10. Allow to cool and store in the fridge in an airtight container. The granola buns will keep for at least a couple of weeks... that’s if they last that long!
This batch included white sesame seeds
  • You can use which ever nuts, seeds and fruits you like, even things not on my list like coconut and banana chips. I tend to use whatever I have in the kitchen
  • If I’m baking the granola in a tray then I usually bake it for 15-20 minutes in the oven and cut it into bars/squares when it’s cooled down but still a little warm. I then pop the pieces into the fridge immediately so they will harden and set, thus less likely to fall apart
  • If you don’t like ginger or cinnamon then feel free to leave it out. I like the  taste of the cinnamon and ginger to come through slightly plus I love to use spices in cooking for their health benefits and tend to be quite generous with them
  • If you ever find that at step 7 the mixture is very dry and not sticking together then it’s most likely that you have too much of the dry ingredients and not enough of the syrup mixture (stickiness) to bind it all together. In this instance just drizzle a little honey over the mixture and re-mix and it should be fine
  • Warning – whilst the granola is very yummy, you know that old saying, ‘too much of a good thing’ well let’s just say that due to the fibre content the granola can have a bit of a laxative effect if you over indulge!
I hope you try this recipe and let me know how it turns out. So many of my friends and family have and loved it so I hope you do too :o)

Love Sheen xxx

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