Granola is a breakfast that originated in New York in 1863 by Dr. Caleb Jackson. In its simplest form, it is made from oats, oil and sugar. Whilst it tends to get a lot of bad press due to its high levels of fats and sugar, it does have some nutritional benefits. Oats for example are the primary ingredient involved in the making of granola and they are naturally rich in antioxidants, they can lower cholesterol levels, control your blood sugar, and as it is very filling it can even help you lose weight.
If you reach for store brought granola who knows what you might find in there, there could be a high level of processed ingredients and additives, however, if you make it yourself that is less likely to be the case. When you make your own you can control how much sugar and oil you use and can adjust it to your personal preference. You can also use higher amounts of dried fruits, nuts and seeds that pack a punch in terms of nutrition. I have enjoyed the supermarket granola in the past but this is so much better and I would not go back. This is the best granola recipe that I have ever tried.
Rolled oats (4 cups)
Raw nuts (1 cup)
Pumpkin seeds (½ cup)
Sea salt (Pinch)
Ground Cinnamon (½ tsp)
Groundnut oil (½ cup)
Maple syrup or honey (½ cup)
Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
Dried fruits, chocolate and coconut flakes (½ cup)
1. reheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (gas mark 4) and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt and cinnamon. Mix well.
3. Pour in the oil, maple syrup and/or honey and vanilla. Mix well, until all the ingredients are lightly covered.
4. Pour the granola onto your prepared tray and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes until lightly golden. Stir it halfway and push it down with the spatula if if you want to make it extra clumpy. The granola will further crisp up as it cools.
6. Let the granola cool completely for 45 minutes then top with the dried fruit chocolate if you’d like.
Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or in a sealed freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dried fruit can freeze solid, so let it warm to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Granola (Frequently asked questions)
Why is granola bad for you?
Serving suggestions - It is recommended to have no more than half a cup of granola as the amount of sugar can be high. (In this recipe there is approximately 12g sugar in a half measuring cup). You can serve your granola with regular cows milk or to make it more healthy and balanced you could top it with natural yoghurt and fresh fruit. Whilst shop brought granola is considered to be bad for you and is a junk food, homemade can be healthy.