Feeling inspired on our recent holiday to sunny Queensland, it seemed a crime to start the day with a serve of demineralised cereal from a box. So I found some time to road test a few granola recipes and this was the result… a grand granola.
Trust me, there is nothing better than starting your day with your very own custom-made breakfast full of wholesome goodness, real flavour and no dodgy additives. My only regret is that I didn’t make this sooner.
What you’ll need:
A large baking tray and baking paper
1 cup *agave nectar or 2/3 of a cup of quality maple syrup (available at good health foods stores)
500g whole rolled oats
Raw almonds – 1 1/2 cups
Flaked coconut – 1 1/2 cups
5 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
Half a teaspoon of sea salt
Chia seeds – a generous handful
Sunflower seeds – a generous handful
100g of dates pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon of organic cinnamon
How to prepare:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
Line your baking tray with paper
In a big mixing bowl measure out oats, almonds, coconut flakes and salt
Over a low heat whisk together the oil and agave nectar/maple syrup until it combines and thins
Make a well in your oat mixture, pour in oil and nectar then fold in dry ingredients until nicely coated
Spread the coated oats on the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and fold entire mixture over. Put back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. Repeat this process another 4 times or until your granola is a delicious golden brown
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Put mixture into a large bowl add seeds, cinnamon and dates. Toss well, then store in an airtight container or serve. I have mine with rice, soy milk or a generous splash of freshly squeezed orange juice.
The great thing about granola is you can easily vary the ingredients. If you don’t have dates use dried cranberries. If you don’t have chia seeds use pumpkin seeds instead. As long as you have your ‘base’ of oats, one type of nut (almond works best in my opinion) and coconut you can then add and change the other ingredients to create your very own grand granola.
What is agave nectar or syrup?
*Agave pronounced ah-gah-vay is a large spiky plant that resembles a cactus or a yucca, but is actually a succulent. It is best known for the plant from which tequila is made but it has also been used for centuries as a natural sweetener (comparable in taste to honey) in food and beverages alike. Agave comes in both a light and dark syrup. The dark unfiltered nectar contains more minerals and a rich flavour (comparable to that of maple syrup).
It has a low glycemic profile
It is ethical, which is not the case for honey I’m afraid
1.4 times sweeter than sugar means you use less
It can be used in any food or drink; coffee, tea, smoothies, for baking, in sauces, dressings, as a topping and is oh so divine on a piping hot crumpet!