I regularly throw together ingredients to make granola as the shop bought variety is always a bit high on sugar and additives, so I decided it was about time to devise an official ‘recipe’ to share - with proper measurements and amounts (so not like me lol).
Mix it Up
I’ve used a mix of recipes I found using good old Google search. BBC Good Food is always a good start, but the ‘good for you’ recipe was using loads of maple syrup, honey and vegetable oil – much more than I wanted to as I was really looking for a lower sugar version. I found a good one on the Super Healthy Kids website which was a mix of oats, nuts and seeds, egg whites and cinnamon - completely No Sugar, but I was a too cowardly to go the whole hog with no added sweetness – some other day lol.
So, this one is a mix of a few recipes and I encourage you to play about with the ingredients to suit what you have in the cupboard and what you like. Don't panic and rush out to the shops if you don't have one of the seeds or a particular nut in the cupboard. That being said - the oats are pretty critical. The main rule is to use the best quality ingredients you can find and afford – organic if possible. My new word is 'qualitarian', that's what I like to call myself these days.
Low and Slow
Baking this granola low and slow is also key as it protects the nutrients from the damage that comes from cooking at high temperatures. Our food just wasn't designed to withstand extremely high temperatures - neither was the nutrients contained within our food.
Keep your eyes peeled in the spice cupboard
My first attempt at this recipe was almost disastrous – when I generously shook the cumin into the top-quality ingredients instead of cinnamon. I hovered over the bin deciding whether or not to tip the lot in – but instead decided to go hot and heavy on the cinnamon and go ahead and finish the job. TBH, it tasted quite fine and the cumin was barely discernible. That being said – don’t try this at home.
Stick to the ‘heavy on the cinnamon’ approach and leave the cumin for the curries.
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g rolled oats
50g sunflower seed
4 tbsp sesame seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
100g flaked almond
100g dried berries (no added sugar)
50g coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
Generous shakes of cinnamon
2 egg whites (whipped)
TOP TIP: Forest Feast is a good 'no added sugar' brand of dried fruit that has a lovely range of varieties. The fig is my favourite but they do loads others like mango, pinneaple, plum, apricot, banana and even goji berries. Whichever brand you choose, check your label for added sugar.
Heat oven to 120c (fan oven). Mix the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Tip in all the remaining ingredients, except the dried fruit and coconut, and mix well. Fold in the two whipped up egg whites.
Spread the granola onto two baking sheets (lined with parchment paper) and spread evenly. Bake for 15 mins, then mix in the coconut and dried fruit, and bake for 10-15 mins more. Remove and scrape onto a flat tray to cool. Serve with cold milk or yogurt.