I have resisted making granola for all these years because I knew it would land up being another food on my list that I would never be able to buy again. Firstly its so ridiculously easy to make, and secondly you get to craft a recipe exactly how you like it – with what flavours you enjoy and how much fat you think you can indulge in. I also like a lot of nuts in my granola. I don’t enjoy fishing around the packet until I find what I want and land up with the last half of the bag devoid of any visible particulates.
This is pretty much a perfect granola for me – but seriously just adapt and change it to suit your taste. Like I said, I want a lot of nuts and I didn’t skimp on mixing in four different types (although almonds dominate). The cashews, macadamia’s and the hazelnuts make it super indulgent, and I this is exactly what I want from my granola.
I like seeds too, so next time I might throw those into the mix. I particularly enjoy toasty sunflower and pumpkin seeds with my breakfast.
As far as the fat content goes, granola definitely needs some of that, but when you make your own, you can control how much you add. I like butter for the flavour but I keep it as light as possible. Coconut oil works well too and its what I use when I make granola bars.
For the sweet, I would choose honey or pure maple syrup. Honey somehow makes it a little more virtuous, but maple comes from a tree so I think they are both good. I’ve become a little fussy around honey as I explore everything about this fascinating product made by bees. I discovered that many cheap honey brands are mixed with corn syrup and they will never crystalise. There are very different grades out there let alone flavours. I love wild flower honey, preferably raw so that is what I used here. It really does add to the overall experience of making a perfect granola.
A touch of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract add a nuance of base flavour you wouldnt find in a commercial product, so I loved using it here.
If you wanted to add any dry fruit you could do so at the end, but I like just oats and nuts that get all crunchy and clumpy when they roast. I eat my granola with Greek style full fat yoghurt, fresh fruit and another drizzle of honey.
Life is good.
Cooks tips ~ all nuts are raw to start with and obviously unsalted. I like almonds skin on, all other nuts must be skin off. Use proper oats not the quick cook variety. I found heating the honey a little in the microwave first made it easier to coat the oats.
Recipe – makes about 6 ½ cups worth
- 1 cup whole almonds skin on
- 1 cup mixed nuts: hazelnuts, macadamia and cashews
- 4 cups oats
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 115g / 1 stick / ½ cup – butter (salted) – melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 150 c / 300 F (I used the fan because I had 2 trays going at the same time)
In a large bowl mix the cinnamon and nuts with the oats. Add the vanilla extract to the melted butter and pour into the oat mix. Add the heated honey and mix it all together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Tip the mix onto two large baking sheets lined with silicone or baking paper spread out and bake for around 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown. I turned the trays around half way through and gave the granola a good toss around.