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Deliciously Healthy Granola

Yummy Granola

Lifestyle

This Granola recipe makes a healthy version of a nutritious breakfast cereal that is easy to store and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Granola is a filling breakfast cereal that tastes best when made at home. It is hearty but also packed with nutrition, is the perfect start to an active day. Making this cereal from scratch means being able to control the ingredients, helpful for anyone on a special diet.

Making granola is easy, but it takes a whole afternoon. It is good to make on a day when there are other things to be done around the house, as it will fill the place with a sweet baking aroma. It can be made in a big batch and stored in an airtight container.

The following quantities make enough cereal for a few weeks.

Healthy Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

                 1 kg Rolled jumbo oats

                 200g Whole almonds

                 100g Pumpkin Seeds

                 100g Sunflower Seeds

                 200 – 300g Raisins or sultanas; try to find juicy, sweet varieties such as Chillean flame raisins

                 75g Cold milled flax seed

                 100ml sunflower oil

                 Ground cinnamon to taste

                 Compote – see below

Apple Compote:

                 12 – 15 Eating apples depending on size, cored and diced

                 250g Fructose

Prepare the Oven:

1. Take two or three large baking trays and line with baking parchment or foil.

2. Preheat the oven to a low to medium heat, around 150 degrees or gas mark 3 – 4.

Make the Apple Compote:

1. Place cubed apples in a saucepan with a splash of filtered water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until softening into a puree. It usually takes about fifteen minutes. Add fructose and blend in just before turning off the heat. Although sweet without the fructose, the apple sauce is the main way the whole cereal is sweetened, so a little extra is necessary. Adjust this to taste.

Baking the Granola:

1. Mix together the dry ingredients, excluding the flaxseed, raisins, or any fruit, then blend in the sunflower oil and the fruit compote. This should form a sticky, crumbly mulch.

2. Spread this thinly over the baking sheets, packing it down together.

3. Toast the cereal in the oven until golden. The whole process takes up to three hours as it needs to be dried out and crisped all over. It must not be burned on the top, and soggy underneath, as this will mean that the cereal cannot be stored.

4. Every half an hour, rake the cereal over with a spatula, exposing any bits which are yet to toast.

5. Once the granola is golden, crispy, and toasted, take it out of the oven and let it cool. The flax seeds, raisins, or any other fruit used can be mixed in at this point. The cooling process takes a long time, but it is very important to be thorough. If cooling is a box, then keep shaking it around and stirring it every so often. This will ensure that any steam escapes and that the granola does not go damp and moldy. Seal only when it is all cold and dry.

Variations on the Recipe

It is possible to change some of the ingredients to get different flavors. Pears make an excellent substitute for apples in the sauce. A mix of pear and apple is also good, and fresh peaches are a similar taste. Raw Cacao nibs give a delicious chocolate flavor but are free from refined sugar and suitable for vegans. Any dried fruit is suitable to use instead of raisins but look for unsweetened varieties as fruit contains enough natural sugar. Chewy banana chips, berries, coconut, or apricots work very well. Almonds are the best nut to use in bulk but mix with pecans or macadamia nuts if desired.

Almonds make a great addition to the granola

Ways to Eat Granola

                 Enjoyed simply with milk, this makes a robust breakfast. Be careful to take a slightly smaller portion than you think you can eat as it will be extremely filling after the first couple of spoons full. Being calorific as well as packed with nutrition balances out the small portion. Perfect with hot milk in the winter, this granola is delicious with hot or cold soya milk for those avoiding dairy.

For anyone in need of emergency nutrition, eating scantly at other times, or actually needing to gain weight, serve the granola with fresh almond milk. Fruit yogurt or fruit soya yogurt lightens a bowl of breakfast Granola. For a rich breakfast, try Greek yogurt, a banana, fresh berries, and a generous topping of granola.

                 Sprinkle granola on to fresh fruit salad, live yogurt, or fruit compote for the perfect everyday breakfast. This balances the calorific content of the granola but is full of healthy goodness. Anyone wishing to maintain or lose weight is best to eat it this way most often. Blend a small handful of granola into a milk or yogurt smoothie. Fruit, juice, or protein powder can also be added. Use a strong blender such as a Vita-mix. Perfect flavors for this include strawberries, mango, chocolate oat or soya milk, and banana. For an indulgent after-hours snack, sprinkle granola on to vanilla ice cream but beware that this can become a calorific addiction.

Written by Jennifer James of @CleanBeautyBabebyjenn

Other additions to your granola chia seeds or you can add a little banana slices for some potassium