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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Aloha Granola *Food*

Is it just me, or is granola just the best?  I recently made it for the first time after putting it off forever. I thought it would be very time consuming to make, but I proved myself wrong. It's so quick and easy to do, I don't know why it took me this long.


A few days ago I was craving something sweet but wanted it to be healthy. I was also out of cereal which is what I was craving most but I had all the ingredients to make it.  Although I'm 10 minutes from the nearest shop which is super close, I have recently been reading the ingredients on cereal packaging and it's a little scary! So many of them have added sugars, salts and preservatives and ingredients I can't even pronounce. I wanted to make something which had organic ingredients and no processed gunk.

I hate to toot my own horn but the vegan agave based granola I made knocked my socks off and my friends and family found it very tasty too, which is why I have to share it with you. The granola is packed with protein, fibre, omega 3s and energy so you can't go wrong - and most dried fruits such as the ones I used are classed as 1 of your 5 a day so it's a guilt free meal.

Would you like some granola with your milk, Sir?
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
*Lasts for around 3 weeks so long as it is in an air tight container

Ingredients:
1. Walnut oil (can use coconut) 2. Vanilla extract 3. Powdered cinnamon 4. Powdered nutmeg
5. Agave syrup (can use maple) 6. Rolled oats (jumbo) 7. Chia seeds 8. Flax seeds 9. Pumpkin seeds
10. Pecans 11. Almonds 12. Walnuts 13. Hazelnuts 14. Dried cranberries 15. Dried pineapple
16. Raisins

*For nut allergies, try experimenting with an array of seeds such as chia; flax; pumpkin; sunflower and hemp as a substitute.
*For gluten allergies, use gluten free rolled oats instead which are available at most supermarkets.

Freshly out of the oven. It took some serious will-power to not eat it straight away.
Breaking it down:

  • Start by gathering your ingredients and then a large glass baking tray; a mug; some baking paper; a scissors (or a sharp knife), and, a large mixing spoon. Next preheat your oven to gas mark 6 or 200 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature you will use to bake this nutty delight.
  • Using a mug for measurement, start by counting 4 cups of rolled oats and place into your glass bowl.
  • Next measure out 1 to 1 and a half cups of mixed nuts and then chop them up with a scissors or a sharp knife if you prefer. As a general guide, cut up the walnuts into 4 parts; pecans into 4 parts; almonds into 3 parts; and, hazelnuts into 2 parts. 
  • After adding the nuts to the oats, add the seeds for some more crunch. Measure out 6 tablespoons of chia seeds; 4 table spoons of flax seeds; and, 2 heaped tablespoons of pumpkin seeds.
  • Now the spices. Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and two teaspoons of nutmeg. If you really love cinnamon like me, add 3 teaspoons instead.
  • For the last of the dry ingredients you'll be using your dried fruit. Using a mug, measure out half a cup of raisins (50%), followed by less than a half a cup of dried cranberries (40%) and then the dried pineapple (10%). You should now have a full cup which you can mix well with the rest of the ingredients in your bowl. Be sure your dry ingredients are mixed well before the agave syrup is added as it will become more difficult to mix afterwards.
  • If all has gone to plan, it is time for the wet ingredients. Add 4 table spoons of walnut oil to the mixture and stir. If using a hard oil like coconut oil, melt 1 table spoon and then mix.
  • Now add two tea spoons of vanilla essence followed by 125ml of agave syrup. Mix all the ingredients the best you can.


Time's up. Let's bake!
  • Spread the mixed granola onto a lined baking tray and spread evenly before drizzling some more agave onto the top. If you're happy with it, place it into the oven. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 7 minutes to get a more crumbly texture. 
  • Once done, remove it from the oven but be sure to allow the granola to cool completely before digging in. The dish will continue to crisp up whilst cooling.
  • It can last for up to 3 weeks, but make sure to keep it in an airtight container so it doesn't go stale. Keep it at room temperature.
  • Now bon App├ętit! An almond or soy yoghurt tastes great with the granola for a snack or breakfast, alternatively a coconut or almond milk is tasty too.
Let me know how you get on. Would you do anything differently?

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