Granola over Greek yogurt is a staple in the Walcott household. We are always trying different types and flavours but haven’t really found a favourite. Every now and then we’ll choose a chocolate flavour if we are feeling a touch naughty but usually try to stay clear and choose a healthier option.
What is a healthy option?
Does that mean… lots of fruit and nuts, low fat, different seeds perhaps? It’s not always clear. Often the sugar present doesn’t come from something ‘healthier’ like honey, agave or maple syrup, but from out-and-out sugar, sweeteners or even worse, corn syrup.
Personally I would stay away from artificial sweeteners and certainly corn syrup, but it can be difficult to find the least amount of sugar you want along with the perfect mix of fruit, nuts and seeds. Don’t like walnuts and don’t want to pick them out every time you pour? Although this is certainly a millennial first world problem, it’s 2017 and you can have your cereal your way!
Make it yourself!
The basics for your very own homemade granola are oats, some fat and whatever you decide to sweeten it with, along with all the bits and bobs you like. The important ingredients are the oats (funny enough), a small amount of fat(we used coconut oil) and touch of salt to bring out all the flavours. Below is an example of some I made this morning with what I had in the pantry.
- Rolled raw oats 4 cups
- Coconut oil (melted) 1/2 cup
- Maple syrup 1/2 cup
- Sea salt 1 tsp
- Pumpkin spice blend (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves) 1/2 tsp
- Raw almonds/Raw cashews (slightly broken up) 1 1/2 cups
- California raisins 2/3 cup
- Chia seeds 1/4 cup
- Vanilla essence, just a touch
- Coconut flakes (a handful halfway through cooking)
Like I said, there are a few essentials but otherwise you can pretty much do what you want, add cocoa powder, cinnamon, throw some chocolate chips in instead of the coconut, or both! You really can get creative and do anything here.
Preheat your oven to 350°f or 180 °C and line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. This won’t take long to put together so don’t worry about wasting energy by turning your oven on first.
Melt your coconut oil over a gentle heat, and while that is working, mix all the dry ingredients together, pour in your syrup and then add the oil and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tray and flatten out ready to bake.
Pretty easy huh? Want to use a different fat, fine. Use olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil etc. Try a different type until you get the flavour you want. Now simply bake for about 10-12 minutes, take it out give it a stir and add your coconut flakes at this stage. Pop it back in, and after another 10-15 mins, take it out and let it cool. Now’s the time to add chocolate chips if you’re using them.
Once cool just transfer to an airtight container. (Pro tip: if you want the cluster effect in your granola just don’t stir as much. Leave large clumps together and break it up once cooled. Almost like making a flap jack and overcooking it!)
This is so simple to make at home in just a few minutes, with unlimited variations and adaptations. Give it a go and take more control over your breakfast.