Thursday, 4 June 2015

Gorgeously Good Granola

Breakfast, for me, is the best meal of the day - the first morsel of food to pass my lips is one to behold. My husband and I make a point to have breakfast with the boys together everyday, the only time we're all guaranteed to be home, so can be one of the most sociable meals, too. It's when your house comes alive from the stillness of the night; when you feed your friends bacon sandwiches after feeding them wine the night before; when you bribe your kids with pancakes for breakfast should they go to sleep quickly the night before; when the smell of coffee awakens the senses, the sight freshly squeezed orange awakens the eyes, and the crunch of granola awakens the taste buds.

Erm, hang on. Granola? Dry, bland, rabbit food, I hear you cry? How about Delicious? No? Well, read on.

My husband swears by this granola, eaten like other cereals at breakfast with milk, will see him through to lunchtime without reaching for the biscuit tin. He swears this is how he lost weight and it WILL become part of our healthier lifestyle when we move. For me, with a dollop of yoghurt and some fresh fruit, it's the perfect start to a summer morning. For my friends, by the handful to stop afternoon munchies. For the kids? Not so much right now (for our kids at least), but we have to have something for us, right?

This granola works wonders for a gorgeous breakfast with no artificial colours, flavours or annoying adverts and, best of all, you can completely customise it. Pecans, sure! Dried Blueberries, why not!? Chocolate drops? Well, everyone deserves a little (a lot?) of what they fancy.

So, give it a go, tell me if you like it or not and what combination of ingredients you used.

So, to the flavour combinations. The basic recipe will stay the same, but the nuts, seeds and dried fruits can be tailored to your taste. My favourite combination is in the recipe below, but chop and change to suit yourself and your loved ones. It does cost a little to buy everything you need the first time you make this, but you get so much from the ingredients, it does work out so much cheaper than buying ready made granola, not to mention tastier and healthier.

I've no idea where this recipe came from. I've been using it for years and adapted it to my taste. Thank you to whoever inspired this recipe (and sorry I cant acknowledge you!)

Gorgeously Good Granola

Homemade Granola

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 3 tbsp honey

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 120ml maple syrup

  • 300g rolled oats (invest in the rolled oats - a little more expensive but make all the difference).

  • 140g seeds (I use 50g sunflower, 50g pumpkin and 40g sesame, or a bag of mixed seeds is cheaper and just as nice).

  • 100g nuts (I like use a mixture of flaked almonds, whole macademias and chopped pecans, but I generally go for whatever is in the house at the time)

  • 100g dried fruits (for me, a combinations of raisins, dried blueberries and dried cranberries).

  • 50g dessicated coconut

1. Pre-heat your oven to 140 degrees celcius

2. In a large bowl, measure out the vegetable oil, honey, vanilla and maple syrup

Quick Tip - measure out the oil first, then the honey will slip right off the spoon and into the bowl. It's a little bit sexy when it does that!.

3. Add the oats, seeds and nuts and mix until combined. Spread onto two baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes, until going slightly golden.

4. Remove from the oven and mix in the dried fruits and coconut (note, if you are using chocolate, add once the granola has been taken from the oven and is cool). Return to the over for a final 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and place in an airtight container.

Quick Tip - when you remove from the oven, place the baked granola into a different tray to cool. This will stop it sticking as the melting sugar won't bond with the hot tray. If you don't do this, don't worry - you can scrape it off the tray with out detriment to the granola).

Breakfast - the best meal of the day - Enjoy!

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