by | April 26, 2013 · 5:44 pm

Today, I’d like to share one of Lil’ L’s all-time favourite breakfasts.

I started making home-made granola about five years ago in response to Lil’ L’s dislike for the dried fruits that appear in shop-bought granolas.  After a week of picking out the raisins from a granola before serving it to him, I decided that life was far too short to waste time picking out dried fruit and that I would have a try at making my own granola instead!   By making it myself, I would be able to tailor the granola to suit all our tastes.  Lil’ L loves nutty granola, I love a mix of nuts and dried fruits, while M will eat anything ;)

Granola

By making our own, we could also omit the refined sugars and oils that are found in shop-bought granolas and replace them with healthy, natural alternatives.

Maple Pecan Granola Ingredients

For breakfast, we love serving this granola with non dairy milk or yoghurt (Alpro’s Pouring Yoghurts are lush!)

Maple Pecan Granola

They also look great when layered with yoghurt and fruit in a parfait.  We serve these as breakfast, dessert or even a post-school snack.

Berry Granola Parfait

It’s so simple to make your own granola.  In fact, with very little assistance, the kids could easily make their own!  Lil’ L prefers his granola to be “chunky clusters” and we’ve found a simple method of doing this which we’ve set out below.

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Makes approximately 5 cups

Hands on time: 5-10 minutes    Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats (use GF oats for those with a gluten intolerance)

½ cup buckwheat groats* (washed and drained)

¼ cup dessicated coconut

½ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup flaked almonds

3 tbsp unrefined sugar (I use coconut palm sugar)

½-1 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg

¼ tsp sea salt

½ cup maple syrup (or other natural liquid sweetener, such as Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup or agave syrup. I often use a mix of Clarks Original Maple Syrup and Sweet Freedom)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp virgin coconut oil, liquefied (to liquefy the oil I place it in a heat proof bowl in the oven while it is warming up)

*I add buckwheat to my granolas as it’s a great source of protein and adds another dimension of texture. In the UK, it’s available in the wholefoods section of Tesco and from health food stores.  If you can’t get hold of buckwheat, you can substitute with another ½ cup of oats or other grain.

 Method

1.  Preheat the oven to 150C (130C fan) / 300F / Gas 2. Line a large baking tray (38cm x 26cm / 15 inch x 10 inch) with non-stick baking paper.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the oats, buckwheat, dessicated coconut, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir until well mixed.

3.  Mix the maple syrup and vanilla extract together, then stir it into the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil and stir until the grains are thoroughly coated.

4.  Spread the granola out evenly on the prepared baking tray. Press down with a spatula, the back of a spoon or your fingers so that the mixture sticks together (as if you were making a thin granola bar). Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the granola has lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool. Gently break up the granola into clusters and transfer to an airtight container.

5.This cereal is delicious served with non-dairy milk or yoghurt. Mix in your favourite nuts, seeds and fruits for added nutrition and yumminess.

I haven’t weighed the ingredients as the quantities don’t have to be that precise.  However, if you would prefer the recipe in grams or ounces, please let me know and I’ll happily weigh them for you next time I make it :)

Maple Crunch Granola - 500 copy

Last Christmas, I thought I’d treat Lil’ L to some “luxury” shop-bought granola.  I bought two different brands for him, both of which included a selection of his favourite nuts and no dried fruits.  It turns out he didn’t like either of them as they were “way too sugary”!  Instead, he asked whether he could have some of our home-made granola.  Since we’d run out, he was even prepared to postpone his Christmas Day breakfast for 45 minutes until a fresh batch was baked!  I wasn’t expecting to be making granola on Christmas morning but I was happy to oblige. Thank goodness it only takes a few minutes to prepare!  We won’t be buying shop-bought granolas any more.  Home made is best by a long shot!

Have a great weekend everyone xx

Do you make your own granolas?  If so, what is your favourite flavour combination? If you have any published recipes, please do link up below. 

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