Like all smoothie lovers, who enjoy a bowl with fruit most mornings, I crave a topping with texture, to contrast with the cool silky sensation of eating spoonful after spoonful. Have you, like me, found that only homemade granola reigns supreme as the perfect accompaniment?
In summer, I usually choose dried mango for my granola to replicate a youthful memory of eating juicy dripping mangos, and add macadamia nuts as there’s little else to beat the taste of a freshly picked, cracked nut. How true that we often seek to relive moments of our past, only to find it is never the same. When autumn and winter creeps coldly in each morning, as I stand by the kitchen bench eating in the dark, I like sweet apples and pecans or peaches and crunchy hazelnuts in my granola.
In the recipe, I’ve written use 1 cup of dried fruit and 1 cup of nuts, and in case you’re interested, I fancy these combos:
Mangoes + macadamia nuts
Peaches + hazelnuts
Cranberries + walnuts
Apples + pecans
Cherries + almonds
If you’re on the quest for crisp and clumpy granola, the answer’s simple. Blitz a portion of rolled oats making oat flour to mix with rolled oats and buckwheat puffs, use both a dry and liquid sweetener and use a very large spatula to turn the granola halfway through the baking. I found my huge spatula from a barbeque section, of all places. Be warned, your hubs might find out it’s really good to snack on. Even Dara likes it as a treat!
· One cup of rolled oats gives you 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fibre known to help lower levels of cholesterol. A cup will provide 70% of the mineral manganese, a mineral that helps in keeping bones strong.
MANGO, MACADAMIA & COCONUT GRANOLA
V, SF, GF
For dry ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats, GF
1 cup oat flour, from blitzed rolled oats
1 cup buckwheat puffs or brown rice puffs
1 cup large coconut flakes
1 cup dried fruit – mango, roughly chopped
1 cup nuts – macadamia, roughly chopped
¼ cup seeds – sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, bee pollen
¼ cup coconut sugar
½ teaspoon salt
For wet ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 150’C (350’F/Gas 2) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Blitz 1 cup rolled oats in the blender. Mix all dry ingredients, except the dry fruit, in a large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients until combined. Pour wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined and the dry ingredients are wet. Spread the granola onto the baking tray in a single layer about 1 cm thick.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, and flip the granola carefully using a large spatula. Bake a further 20 minutes, yet it’s best to check after 15 minutes to make sure the granola doesn’t go too brown. Remove granola from the oven, and allow to cool. Your granola will be chewy when it comes out of the oven, yet becomes crispy at room temperature. Break into large clumps, scatter dried fruit over the tray of granola and gently mix. Store in an airtight container. The granola will last a week, if that’s possible!