January is all about getting into healthy habits, right? I've got into the rather bad habit of skipping breakfast recently - I know lots of people don't eat breakfast but, for me, it's a diet disaster because I end up feeling ravenous mid-morning and snacking on biscuits and other unsuitable stuff. Having this granola in the cupboard means that I'm more likely to be tempted to eat breakfast and I've been having it with low-fat Greek yogurt and fresh fruit to pack in extra protein and nutrients.
Now I know that granola is possibly a little on the sweet side to be considered a health food (or even an everyday food) but at least by making your own granola you know exactly how much sweet stuff there is in it. You can also tailor it to your own personal preferences - many commercial granolas contain lots of sugar-heavy dried fruit (especially raisins, which I'm not a fan of) so I like the fact that this version is fruit-free.
I was actually surprised at how simple this was to make - and it smells amazing when it's cooking! It's a good one to make with kids too because they can weigh out the ingredients and mix them together and, to be honest, it's difficult to get wrong. The only real danger comes from the potential to burn it, which is why I've used a fairly low oven temperature.
Honey, Almond & Pecan Granola
200g jumbo oats
50g sunflower seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
50g flaked almonds
25g pecans, broken into small chunks
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
Place the oats, seeds and nuts in a large bowl.
Put the honey, oil and vanilla extract in a small jug and beat until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until the oat mixture is thoroughly coated. Tip onto a baking tray (you'll need to use one with a rim) and press down with a spatula.
Transfer to the preheated oven and bake, stirring halfway, for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking tray, then transfer the granola to an airtight container.
- You want the granola to form clumps so resist the temptation to stir it too often once it's in the oven. I stir it halfway through, then press it down with a spatula before returning it to the oven.
- If you want to add dried fruit to the granola, stir it into the cooled granola (rather than baking it).
- Regular vegetable oil that you can buy in the supermarket (UK ones anyway) is usually rapeseed oil. It's a good neutral-tasting oil that is low in saturated fat and high in mono-unsaturated fat.
- Please note that nuts (especially whole ones) can be a choking hazard for young children - personally, I wouldn't give this granola to any child under 5.