I was not much of a granola fan until very recently. Shop-bought granola is always full of dried fruit, and I have a pet hate for the overly sweet, squishy stuff. I would never go for dried fruit when I can have it fresh!
Sally’s Baking Addiction is one of the first blogs I started following when my friend Loraine introduced me to the blogosphere. Sally posted her Vanilla Almond Granola recipe a couple of weeks ago and I HAD to have it. If you already know of Sally’s blog, you will be aware that her photos are always mouth-watering. Sally is so talented she could make cat food look tempting as a snack!
To go back to the subject matter (and away from cat food), as soon as I laid eyes on Sally’s post, I immediately craved her granola. So much so that I pleaded hubby to go to the shops to get me the only ingredient I did not have at home: maple syrup. He surprised me by going to the supermarket straight away!
I made Sally’s granola there and then. I put more almonds than in Sally’s recipe and it was so appealing I had a few tablespoons of it before it even went in the oven, and kept burning my tongue on a tablespoon of the sweet stuff whenever I was giving it a stir as it was cooking. It lasted five days and I was not sharing it!
I have been experimenting ever since and I came up with this very nutty, super healthy granola. It is so easy to make I will never buy ready-made granola, no doubt about that! I have it for breakfast with Greek yoghurt or on its own as a snack to keep my energy levels up after nursing Wriggly.
I am a bit of a nut addict, especially at the moment, so my star ingredients are hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds and cashews.
Porridge is not my cup of tea but oats fill you up for longer than bread or cereal and when I am breastfeeding, I need to eat an awful lot to feel full. After making Sally’s recipe, I realised I really enjoyed oats freshly toasted, which was a bit of a revelation.
Quinoa has many health benefits and is often referred to as a ‘superfood’. It is supposed to reduce cholesterol, has a high content of fibre, is full of antioxidants and is a rich source of magnesium. I have been using quinoa flakes cooked in coconut milk for Jumpy’s breakfast instead of oatmeal and she loves it, so I decided to add it to my granola.
Vicki over at Free From Fairy inspired me to use the chia seeds I have had in my cupboard for nearly a year and only used once as an egg replacer for Jumpy.
I love using coconut oil in cooking and Tiana is the one I always go for as it is organic and fair trade.
Very Nutty Granola
- 2 cups certified gluten free oats 180g
- 1 cup quinoa flakes 85g
- 1/3 cup chia seeds 60g
- pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup flaked almonds 100g
- 1/3 cup pistachio kernels 50g
- 1/3 cup hazelnut kernels 45g
- 1/3 cup cashews 45g
- 3/4 cup maple syrup 185ml
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil 70ml
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 3 (170 degrees Celsius / 325 degrees Fahrenheit) and lining a large baking sheet with baking paper.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, quinoa flakes, chia seeds, flaked almonds, salt and cinnamon.
Put your pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews in a sealed plastic bag and roughly chop them by bashing them with a rolling pin.
Add the nuts, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract to the bowl and stir until all ingredients are coated and look moist.
Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and distribute evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure the granola crisps evenly.
Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
It can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for approximately two weeks.