Homemade Granola

Granola is one of those things that I love but don’t make too often just because I can’t control myself around it. This is by far the tastiest batch I’ve ever made and I’ve been eating it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any other time in between. Providing you have more self control than me, though (which won’t be hard) it’s a great thing to have a big jar of stashed away in the cupboard for a speedy breakfast. (For days when your tutor decides she wants that essay 24 hours earlier than previously specified, for example, or your Russian teacher decides that the best time for a 1 on 1 class is at 8 o’clock in the morning. Both were realities for me this week. Thank you, granola.) I like mine with milk, yogurt, fruit or sprinkled on smoothies, but really the possibilities are endless.

So why would you bother making your own when you can just buy it at the supermarket for less money and time? Well, firstly, the taste of homemade granola is far superior. Secondly, you get to pick what’s in it! You can choose whatever fruit, nuts, and flavours you like; my recipe is just a guide and reflects my preferences but once you have the basic formula you can really make it your own. Shop-bought granola is also loaded with sugar, bad fats, chemicals, and is heavily processed; your body will far prefer this more natural and healthy alternative.

Makes 1 large jar Ingredients:

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (really, the same quantity of any oil will work here so use what you have to hand; in the past I have used sunflower oil, olive oil and vegetable oil; melted butter would also work. Just be aware the taste will vary slightly depending on what you use).
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (honey, agave nectar etc would also work)
  • 3 tbsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dried fruit (I kept it simple and just used Sainsbury’s basics sultanas LOL but you can really use whatever you like. Raisins, currants, cranberries, chopped apricot etc all make a nice addition).

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, or 160 fan. Line a large oven tray/baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate, larger, bowl, combine all the dry ingredients EXCEPT the dried fruit. Pour the oil and syrup mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well until everything is coated and slightly moist.
  4. Tip everything out onto the baking sheet and spread it out as evenly and flatly as possible.
  5. Bake for around 30 minutes, removing the tray to stir/shake it every 10 minutes or so, until all the mixture is slightly crispy and beginning to go a light golden brown colour but not burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before mixing in the dried fruit and transferring to a large airtight container.

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