I’ve been fiddling around with granola recipes for a while now. I had some delicious granola on holiday in South Africa a while ago and it was only when I recreated it at home that I appreciated how much sugar and oil goes into a standard granola. I should have known – a long time ago I remember reading that a serving of Country Crisp (which is hardly granola I know, but…) has the equivalent sugar and fat content of (something like) 4 chocolate biscuits – and that’s for breakfast! So, I wanted to create a granola that was low in sugar and fat and was also gluten free. Not because I need gluten free but I do believe that if we take our focus off wheat in particular, but gluten also, we open up so many more eating possibilities. This isn’t sugar free in the true sense of the word as it contains bananas and dates but it is refined sugar free. And even if you think bananas and dates are quite sugary I only include 1 banana and a cupful of dates in this entire recipe which makes just under a kilo of granola.
3 tbsps coconut oil
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flakes
1/2 cup each of sunflower, pumpkin seeds, hazlenuts, almonds and coconut flakes
optional: either 3 tbsps cinnamon or ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Cover the dates in water and leave to soak for at least half an hour until softened. To speed up this process you can simmer them in the water for 5 minutes or so. Once softened, combine the dates, banana, coconut oil and cinnamon/ginger if using, in a food processor to form a smooth paste.
Measure the other ingredients into a large baking tray where they will be spread in a reasonably thin (but not too sparse) layer. Combine with the paste making sure that everything is covered evenly.
Place the tray in the oven and set the timer for 13 minutes and don’t leave the kitchen without your timer (this is crucial because you will forget and when you do it will burn – I’ve done it. More than once). After 13 minutes give the mixture a good stir and put it back in the oven for another 13 minutes – again setting the timer. Repeat this process one more time and then turn the oven off, letting a little of the heat escape as you do so. You can now relax a tiny bit. Check it every half hour or so until you are certain it is just drying out slowly – you normally don’t need to do this more than twice. And then leave overnight in the oven, or equivalent. And don’t, don’t forget it’s in there and turn the oven back on (I’ve done that too).
I love it with coconut yoghurt (Coyo is the best), a sprinkling of cinnamon and some berries. It’s also really good as a topping on my morning smoothie, or included in some breakfast muffins or just as a snack. Who knew granola could be so versatile?!