I have been thinking a lot about eating flavours that complement the seasons at the moment. Even if it isn’t sunny outside, incorporating ingredients and textures that match that August mood, kind of brings back a touch of sunshine happiness – even if for a split second.
Granola is healthy, easy, cheap and customisable – what’s not to love? You can tailor exactly what you want to put in it, choose your crunch/colour and use it as a trail mix kind of snack, to top on your yogurt or paired with your milk of choice.
Oats are one of my favourite grains. I use whole rolled oats rather than milled or porridge oats. This is because whole jumbo oats are not processed or broken down, meaning that when we eat them our digestive system has to work harder. This benefits us as the slower are foods are digested, the fuller we remain and the less likely are blood sugar levels are likely to peak and crash. You can also purchase gluten-free oats. My favourite Gluten Free Oats are from Planet Organic.
Oats are also filled with Beta Glucans, a form of soluble fibre found in oats as well as mushrooms, seaweed and yeast! Studies have shown that beta glucans act as immunomodulator agents, meaning they trigger a cascade of events that help regulate the immune system, making it more efficient. They are also famed for their ability to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
I have used Vita Coco Coconut Oil here over olive oil or butter as the fat that helps give the granola crunch, bind and flavour! Coconut oil is my favourite fat to cook with as its one of the safest to use at high temperatures (which is what is required to cook granola thoroughly). Coconut oil has a higher smoke and melting point, which is why you will find it is more often than not solid at room temperature. It is highly resistant to oxidation at high heat, meaning that when we heat it, the fats remain stable, meaning it is still healthy to consume. Other fats, when heated, can become unstable and produce free radicals, and therefore not suitable for use when cooking
The multi-chain fats in Coconut oil mean it is also famed for its ability to help contribute to improve brain function, reduction in inflammation, and help with insulin resistance and weight loss!
Always buy extra virgin, organic, unrefined coconut oil – never purchase those which have been tampered with such as heated or processed for longer shelf life. This entirely ruins the benefits of the coconut oil – processing the oil changes the chemical makeup, and the fats are no longer good for you, so avoid hydrogenated oils whenever possible. Vita Coco Coconut Oil is one of my favourite coconut oils on the market, for this reason.
When I made this recipe, I hunted around the kitchen and found the ingredients that called out to my taste buds, and I urge you all to do the same! Chuck in any dried fruit, spices, nuts, seeds etc to switch it up to the way you like!
Makes enough for 2 cups worth of granola
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. of Yacon syrup/ raw unpasteurised honey/coconut blossom syrup/maple syrup
- 1 cup of jumbo rolled oats (GF if required)
- 1/4 cup of mixed nuts, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp. of unsweetened coconut chips
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. flax seeds
- Small fist of dried fruit – I used mango
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- Sprinkle of Cinnamon 13.
1.Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Over a small saucepan with heated water, place a glass bowl over the top with the coconut oil. Do not use high heat as this ruins the coconut oil! Heat very slightly and stir until melted. Add the sweetener of choice and stir to combine.
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss to combine the oats, nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt.
4. Add the melted coconut oil and sweetened mix to the oat mixture, stir until evenly coated.
5. Spread the granola in an even layer on the baking paper and press down lightly.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. After 20 minutes, chuck in the coconut chips and dried fruit and mix in. Press back down.
7. Remove the baked granola and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes, so it can set
8. Once the granola is cool, break it apart using your hands to desired sized clusters.
The granola will keep in an airtight container for 4 weeks. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!