lifestyle

Let’s get nutty!

A few nuts + oats + your favourite flavours = the best homemade granola… Ever. The best thing is, that anyone can make it and you get to experiment with so many different flavours. You can go for an extra dose of sweetness with maple syrup/honey (my personal fave) or if you like things spicy then add a dash of cinnamon/ginger to the mix.

Before playing around in the kitchen with different ingredients, I bought various different brands of Granola to see what sorts of flavours I liked. I soon realised that despite being branded “sugar free” and “free from artificial flavourings” – Most of the stuff I was buying was LOADED with sweeteners (fructose, glucose etc). SO! Of course, I decided to make my own – and it was the best decision I ever made.

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I mean look at this, does it not make you hungry?

There are so many perks to making your own granola, from the tasty smell that fills your whole house (which got my whole family sniffing the air) to trying out so many different flavours. I decided to go for a coco-nutty flavour with this batch of granola, so I opted for coconut oil and coconut flakes to add into the mix. To ensure the coconut doesn’t burn, it’s best to bake the granola at a lower temperature, or just mix the coconut in towards the end. I opted for the latter, because I prefer the flavour of uncooked coconut.

To make this a really healthy food choice (for either breakfast or a yummy snack), I decided to add some of my favourite seeds, which are super easy to get a hold of (my go to place is Holland and Barrett). This step is purely optional, but I really wanted to make sure that this granola was delicious AND packed full of antioxidants.

seedy.JPG
Add in these delicious seeds for an extra nutritious punch. Left to right: organic flaxseeds, organic black chia seeds and a mix of flax, sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds & goji berries.

I also threw in lots of nuts to the granola, not only for the awesome flavour (and health benefits), but to also add a real crunch to the mix. You can chuck in however many (or little) nuts as you like; I opted for almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews – some of my absolute favourites. Once baked, the granola is infused with a real satisfying nutty and crunchy texture throughout.

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Mmm, nuts.

 

As soon as the granola was done baking (warning: it gets harder to wait the more you smell it), I left the baking trays in the windowsill to cool (and waited for siblings to come and steal some…*eye roll*). Once it had completely cooled down, I mixed in some raisins (you can also go for dried cranberries, blueberries etc) for extra sweetness.

I usually have granola for breakfast, because it’s really fuelling (just what I need for intense workouts) or as a quick snack – either on its own, or it’s super tasty with some greek yogurt and fresh fruit. You know you want to try some, so give it a go!

Nutty Granola Recipe and Method

This easy homemade granola recipe is full of superfoods, and is naturally sweetened with honey (or maple syrup if you prefer).

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup goji berry mix
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (gas mark 3) and line one or two (depending on how much you’re making) baking trays with parchment paper – or melted coconut oil.
  2. Combine almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews in a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, salt, chia seeds, flaxseeds, goji berry mix, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Stir together well with spatula or wooden spoon.
  4. In a saucepan, stir together the coconut oil, vanilla, honey and cinnamon until runny and smooth. With your spatula/spoon, combine the runny mix with the dry ingredients and stir well – use your arm strength here!
  5. Once everything is completely mixed together, scrape the contents of the bowl onto your baking tray(s). If you like your granola to be clumpy, press down onto it with your spatula.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, remove tray(s) from the oven and give everything a good stir. Add the coconut flakes and bake for another 5 minutes. Let the granola cool completely on the pan (put it in the windowsill if you’re really impatient, like me). It’ll get crispier as it cools.
  7. Once completely dried, add in the raisins (or other dried fruit). Store the granola in an airtight concealer, and it’ll stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks.

Tasty tip: sprinkle some nutmeg over the top for an extra nutty flavour.

 

NOTES

MAKE IT VEGAN: replace honey with maple syrup.

MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use gluten free oats (GoNutrition).

xo Amerjit 

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