Almond and Pecan Granola

Granola has been on my list of things to experiment with for age and I have finally got there.

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Ever since I started making my own muesli bars and having them as a snack crumbled over yoghurt, I have seen the need for homemade granola in my life. Even though the muesli bars, when crumbled are essentially granola, I needed a more nutritionally sound version, which didn’t have chocolate and butter as ingredients, so it could be a healthy, family friendly breakfast option.

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Claire (2 and a half) has always been a bit funny with breakfast and especially so since the arrival of her little sister Elise, 3 weeks ago. I am yet to find a fool proof breakfast that she will happily eat most days without a 30-40 minute nagging and bribing ordeal. I am hoping that this granola is a solution, as she enjoys my muesli bars with yoghurt. Fingers crossed!!

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The key ingredients to a granola are:

Oats – old fashioned rolled oats. These provide a low GI source of carbohydrates and soluble fibre.

Nuts/Seeds – these can be any type of nut or seed that you have on hand. Today I have used almonds, pecans, peptitas, sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats. Nuts and seeds provide a good source of protein to help to keep you full.

Fats/oil – Fats and oils help the granola to clump together and contributes, along with the sweetener, to the caramelisation. I have used coconut oil this time, but I am keen to try olive oil at a later date. You could also use butter, but the oils will make the granola more crispy.

Sweetness – the natural sweetener or sugar adds to the crispiness and caramelisation of the granola. I have opted for natural sweetness so have used dates soaked in boiling water combined with freshly squeezed orange juice, maple syrup and coconut oil. I love the natural sweetness that dates soaked in boiling water gives – its something that I use often when baking as well. Other options for sweetness include honey, brown sugar and rice malt syrup.

Flavour – this includes spices, salt and vanilla, which are all added in small amounts, but together complement and enhance the flavour of the base ingredients. Dried fruit can also be added to granola, but is best added at the end, once the granola is out of the oven. I have opted for no dried fruit in this batch.

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Enjoy xx.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 50g dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop the dates and place into a small bowl, add boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Place oats, nuts, seeds and coconut into large bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Mix cinnamon, ginger and salt in a small bowl and add to oat mixture once combined and stir well.
  5. Once the dates have sat for 10 minutes, add the orange juice and maple syrup and using a stick mixer, blend until smooth. Place this mixture into a small saucepan along with the coconut oil and vanilla and heat over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  6. Pour oil mixture into the oats and stir well, ensuring that the dry mix is thoroughly coated.
  7. Spread out onto prepared baking tray and bake for ~30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the tray in the oven after 20-25 minutes to allow the granola to cook evenly.
  8. Once cooked, allow the granola to cool completely before placing into a container. If you want large clusters, then the less handling the better.
  9. Serve with yoghurt and fruit for a delicious breakfast or snack.

 

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