Quite the question with granola is “to clump or not to clump?” Some like their granola in clumps and others like a crunchy sprinkling – I’ll indicate how to achieve both these in my healthy granola recipe below. The even bigger consideration with all granola in my view is the sugar quantity. Products you buy off the supermarket shelf either have large amounts of added sugar or, if they are no-sugar varieties, they are hugely expensive! This is an easy and cheap way to make your own, with your own flavour preferences. I have still given you a sweet-tooth version that won’t sky-rocket your GI levels or make you crave further sugar once you’ve finished!
- Oats (I like the jumbo whole ones)
- Oat bran or oatmeal (pinhead oats) – depending on how much crunch you want 🙂
- Mixed seeds (pumpkins, sunflower, chia and flax [ground])
- Mixed nuts (I like whole, flaked almonds, chopped Brazils and pecans)
- Mixed dried fruits (apricots, sultanas, raisins, dates)
- Ground almonds
- Coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: Agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or Xylitol (or other plant-based sweetener)
This is quite a freestyle recipe because it really depends how you want it to taste. For a standard baking tray I use enough oats the cover the bottom to about 1/2cm thick. Measure them out and then tip them into a large bowl and add all the nuts and seeds you like, together with the ground almonds (they add to the texture and give a lovely sweet flavour) plus a couple of tablespoons of oat bran for additional fibre.
Mix it all up together and if you want to add some sweetness (see * below) this is the moment to put in a tablespoon of plant-based sweeter. If you’re choosing to add liquid sweetener like the syrup or honey then add this at the next stage, with the coconut oil.
Melt four tablespoons of coconut oil gently in a pan. Now, if you just want a nice crunchy sprinkling and if desired, you need to add your preferred little liquid sweetener here and pour this into the oat mixture. Add the vanilla extract and stir it all really well. Then spread the mixture out on the baking tray and put it in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes, turning the oats and nuts as they brown.
If you want your granola in clumps then you need to make sure that your oats are more crowded together and add sufficient syrup to the bowl so that it all sticks together. *Naturally this will make the granola generally sweeter in taste so you may choose to add less dried fruit at the final stage, depending on what level of sweetness you like. Bake in the same way, turning less so you don’t break up the clumps.
When the granola is nicely golden remove from the heat and allow to cool. It smells amazing by the way! Add your chopped dried fruit and stir well. Store in an airtight tin or freeze until required.