One of the very first things I learnt to master in the realm of baking, was granola. And no guesses as to why. Its so simple to put together, incredibly versatile in terms of flavours and ingredients and is so worthwhile just for the smell it leaves in your kitchen during and after baking- addictively sweet and spicy.
I tend to go down the traditional route with old fashioned rolled oats as a base, but you can use puffed rice, barley flakes even cooked quinoa that provides that distinctive crumbly crunchy sensation you expect with granola.
This is a really good way to pack in fibre from the oats and protein in the form of nuts and seeds, into one meal. It helps add substance to your breakfast and keeps you full for longer, as opposed to white bread, pastry or breakfast bar/biscuit options that are usually loaded with lots of sugar and can lead you to be hungrier much quicker from the drop in blood sugar you experience with these types of foods.
As for flavours, I love things like apple, orange zest, coconut, cardamon even cacao. Mix them up and play with ones you are familiar with or enjoy eating already. Don't be afraid to use more than one flavour, most things work really well, such as stem ginger as I've used here...
To make a batch of this Ginger Coconut Spiced Granola, here's what you will need:
Makes 1 mason jar's worth
3.5 cups Organic rolled oats
1 cup Pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup Melon seeds
1 cup Desiccated coconut
1.5 Stem ginger
3x Green cardamon pods
1 tbs Fennel seeds
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
3/4 cup Coconut oil
1/4 cup Sweet ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar
1x large handful each of almond, cashews and pistachios
Start by combining the oats, pumpkin and melon seeds and coconut in a large bowl
Chop the ginger as small as you can and add to the bowl of oats
Remove the tough green casing of the cardamon to leave the black seeds, crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar and add to the bowl of oats, along with the fennel seed (left whole)
In a separate saucepan, add the maple syrup, coconut oil and stem ginger syrup and put on the heat to warm slowly, stirring every now and then allowing the coconut oil to melt and all 3 liquids to combine. You only want to heat this mixture so don't let it get too hot or boil
Allow the maple syrup mixture to cool slightly before adding to the bowl of oats
Mix everything well, ensuring all the dry ingredients are coated by the maple mixture. It might look a little wet at the moment, but this will help the granola form little clusters and add some crunch
Put into the oven for 20 mins before removing to stir. Add for a further 15mins before removing to stir again and add the raw nuts
Place back into the oven for a final 10-15 mins or until desired. Make sure you keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn. Oven temperatures can vary so adjust accordingly and base on how well you would like your granola to be cooked
Store in an airtight container such as a mason jar to last around a month or 2. You will be back to making more in no time, as its so delicious and makes a brilliant breakfast.
Enjoy spooned over anything from yogurt and frui
t to smoothie bowls, hot porridge or as a delicious topping to a fruit crumble.
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