Granola has to be one of my favourite breakfast cereals. It’s delicious. It’s moreish. And for good reason – most of the granola lining the shelves of your local supermarket is far from the healthy start to the day it’s marketed as. So, I never buy it.
How healthy is my recipe for homemade granola? Well, it still contains sugar – yes, honey is just naturally flavoursome sugar. But making homemade granola does put you in control of exactly how much sugar you’re putting in your body. And that can only be a good thing.
Of course, being healthy isn’t defined by sugar and calories either. And there’s so much goodness crammed into this granola recipe. Extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidants and fatty acids. Almonds and sunflower seeds are full of vitamin E and protein. And oats – often gluten-free – are among the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.
The flipside is what my healthy granola recipe doesn’t contain. There’s no filler here. There’s no white sugar, no palm oil, no sugar syrup powder, no… “flavouring”.
Speaking of flavouring – you needn’t feel constrained by my personal granola preferences. The possibilities are approaching endless – cranberry, pecan, chocolate, orange, ginger, apricots, hazelnuts, maple, cinnamon. The list of ingredients, flavours and textures you can include in your own homemade granola could fill volumes. Just don’t use too many at once.
Now, a final word concerning the size of granola – do you like yours in large chunks, or a bit like muesli? My preference is for the latter, not that you care. But what you do need to know is this – if you sit in the chunky camp, make sure to press the un-baked granola firmly into your baking tray. Once cooked, cool and crispy, you’ll be able to break it up into your desired grain size.
Healthy Homemade Granola
Makes 10-15 servings
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150g honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 310g jumbo oats (ideally, gluten-free)
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 50g almonds
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 15g coconut flakes
- 10g desiccated coconut
- 100g raisins
- Preheat your oven to 170C (fan).
- Combine the oil, honey and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Add the jumbo oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, mixed spice and salt. Bring everything together.
- Press the granola mixture into a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. Mix in the coconut flakes, desiccated coconut and raisins. Bake for a further 15 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- Set aside to cool before breaking apart into chunks the size of your choosing.
Cost: This recipe will certainly yield enough granola for 10 breakfasts, unless you’re a big fan of filling up in the morning. My calculations tell me that’s around 25p per bowl, or £2.50 for the whole lot.