Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Homemade granola - a tasty and simple breakfast

I'm going to level with you - I'm the kind of girl who would rather have a bowl of Ben & Jerry's than a handful of grapes. I have always had a sweet tooth and growing up, my family would always have a pudding after dinner so I got used to having that sugar kick every day. Now, it's not easy to kick the sugary unhealthy habit so I've been looking for ways to still satisfy my sweet tooth without the overwhelming feelings of guilt afterwards.

I'm a relative rookie when it comes to complex nutrition and health but what I have learned is that although I may have thought it was a healthy choice opting for a bowl of shop bought granola in the morning rather than a pain au chocolat, there was actually added sugar in my granola that I didn't even consider would be there. I mean, why would I? It's granola - just some toasted oats and sultanas, right? Hmmm...apparently not. So anyway, I decided to have a look at making my own so I know exactly what was going into it. Turns out it's just as simple as walking/driving to the shops and buying a bag pre-made.

It's a very versatile recipe so you really can tailor it to your own taste; don't like pumpkin seeds? Add some sunflower seeds instead. Don't like almonds? Add some hazelnuts instead. Easy peasy.

What you'll need:

  • 3 cups raw oats 
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries/apricots
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil/hazelnut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp salt
How to make it:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees (fan) 
  2. In a bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, hazelnuts, cinnamon, almonds, nutmeg and salt - give all those ingredients a good stir
  3. Add the oil and maple syrup/honey and stir the ingredients again to combine well 
  4. Tip the contents of the bowl onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and make sure you have an even layer
  5. Pop the tray in the oven for 22 minutes
  6. Take the tray out and let the granola cool completely
  7. Add the raisins and the cranberries/apricots and stir once more to combine well
It is best to store the granola in an air-tight container and it will keep nice and crispy for about a week.

I love to have this as my breakfast after a good, sweaty plyometrics workout! It is best served with natural fat free yoghurt, fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup on the top.

Enjoy folks! Let me know what you think - and tell me about any variations on this recipe you may have! - you can tweet me or follow me on Google+

R x

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