I think one of my favourite things to have for breakfast of all time is Granola. I just love it. When I eat it, I feel like I am doing something really good for myself . . . all earth mother and all that . . . a bit like a hippy, a naturalist. (Not THAT kind!)
It's all that dried fruit . . . and the toasted nuts and oats. It just seems uber healthy and I confess . . . moreishly delish! More often than not though . . . I will have a pot of low fat yoghurt and then a bit of the granola on top, because it's usually quite high in calories too . . . and sometimes fat! Especially if you buy a ready made one.
Those ready made ones are usually pumped FULL of fat and sugar . . . not a lot of nuts, and more than likely they will be peanuts, which are also very high in fat. The fruit in them?? Usually not a lot, and then mostly raisins, unless you pay extra to get a "designer" type granola!
That's why I like to make my own. I control what goes into it. I control the amount of nuts and fruit, and the type of nuts and fruit. You will always find a delicious combination of fruit in mine . . . dried cherries, cranberries, sultanas, apricots, dates, blueberries . . . plus there won't be a peanut in sight . . . just raw almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds . . . sometimes cashews and macadamias, maybe even pistachios . . . it's normally a pretty scrummy mix.
I found this pretty low fat recipe in one of my cookery books the other day. (Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, recipes from a modern kitchen garden by Jeanne Kelley) It's a really lovely book, if you would like to take a look at it, you can find it here, in the UK, and here, in the US. Anyways, this recipe didn't use a lot of fat in it, and not a heck of a lot of sugar either.
And the sweeteners that it did use were pretty much natural ones like molasses and honey, and soft light brown sugar. I did change out the soft light brown sugar for light brown muscovado sugar . . . because I think that the muscovado sugar is even less processed . . . I kind of like things as natural and whole as I can get them . . . if it is within my power to do so.
I changed the fruit around a bit as well. She only called for dates and raisins . . . I added a few different ones. Mostly the ones I had in the house . . . dried cherries, dried cranberries, sultanas . . . dried blueberries . . . I used pecans, and almonds . . . and pumpin seeds . . .
And I added shredded coconut . . . coz I like coconut . . . and then, because I had used the coconut . . . and I happened to have several tubs of extra virgin coconut oil in my larder . . . I changed out the vegetable oil for extra virgin coconut oil. (I'm learning sis!!) My sister has a blog . . . Flat Belly Files. It's all about healthy eating and the such. She's a real pro at it.
The end result being . . . I have created one of the most delicious granola's I have ever made, and that's saying a lot because I have made some pretty tasty ones before.
I can't keep my hands off of this one though . . . it's pretty darn scrummy, and I like to think that it's that little bit healthier than even my old version. That can't be bad!
*Chunky Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola*
makes about 16 servings (1/2 cup each)
Granola is one of my favourite breakfast cereals. It doesn't always to be high in fat to be good. This recipe uses very little fat, only 2 TBS of coconut oil, but it still tastes delicious. I love all of the nuttiness and like to use a mixture of dried fruits to give it some added sweetness, texture and flavour. I love to serve this with fresh fruit and yoghurt.
250g of old fashioned rolled oats (3 cups)
85g of whole, raw almonds (1/2 cup)
2 large handfuls of raw pumpkin seeds (1/2 cup)
60g of coarsely chopped pecans
40g of shredded coconut (1/2 cup)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g of light brown muscovado sugar (1/2 cup packed)
60ml of liquid honey (1/4 cup)
60ml of mild molasses (1/4 cup, not black strap)
60ml of hot water (1/4 cup)
2 TBS melted coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
200g of assorted dried fruits (about 1 1/2 cups, dried cherries, sultanas, chopped apricots, chopped dates, sultanas, dried sweetened cranberries, etc.it's your choice)
Preheat the oven to 165*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Measure the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and cinnamon into a large bowl. Measure the sugar, honey, molasses, hot water, coconut oil and sea salt into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar is melted. Bring to the boil and then pour this mixture over the oat mixture in the bowl. Toss together to coat all of the oats and nuts with the mixture. Spread out into a single layer on the baking sheet.
Roast in the heated oven for about 40 minutes, until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in your fruit. Return to the oven and roast for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Stire in an airtight container for up to two weeks.