Here's a quandary: how can we have a delicious bowl of granola in the morning without loads of sugar, wheat, and other possibly sensitive foods? How can we keep it tasting delicious but make sure it's a healthy option for breakfast? AND how can we keep it as cheap as possible? The answer is: MAKE YOUR OWN.
Honestly... you'll have much healthier, tastier, faster, cheaper granola if you make your own rather than buy a box or bag. Here are the reasons why:
- HEALTH -- Read the ingredients on that box of granola/cereal/muesli you love. 9 times out of 10 you will see some form of sugar listed there, whether it's "high fructose corn syrup", "brown sugar" (still sugar), "evaporated cane juice", "glucose syrup", and many others. Instead, opt for maple syrup, organic honey, or brown rice syrup to sweeten your homemade version. You won't get that sugar crash yet it will still taste great.
- FRESHNESS -- Store-bought cereals sometimes taste like the boxes they come in. No one likes cardboard in the morning. Making a big batch of your own and keeping it in a large container, such as a metal tin or glass jar, will ensure lasting crunch. Not to mention the fact that it will keep for weeks.
- QUICK -- Set aside the thought you may have about how long this will take you. Once you have all of the necessary ingredients, a large batch of granola will take you 35 minutes TOPS. This includes stirring, spreading, and baking. In the time it maybe took you to get to the supermarket, pick up a box of granola, wait in line, pay, and come back home again, you could have made a healthy version yourself.
- CHEAP -- I have been seeing some extremely overpriced bags of "gourmet" granola lately. £5 per bag? Really? The ingredients you will find in the recipe below can be sourced cheaply and abundantly. If you're lucky, you'll be able to find nuts and seeds (and oats) in bulk. Always cheaper to buy from the bulk bins!
So there are 4 decent reasons to make your own. And look at how pretty!
If you'd like to try making your own, I'll post my own recipe version below, but there are a ton of healthy ideas out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Good For You granola from BBC Good Food
- Mark Bittman's Crunchy granola
- Delicious magazine's granola recipe
- The Picky Foodie's Old Fashioned granola
- Gluten-Dairy-Cane Sugar-Free granola from Joy the Baker
Makes approx 800g! Instead of oats, you can opt for marked "gluten-free" oats, spelt flakes, or buckwheat flakes instead.
- 1/2 cup raw organic honey
- 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil
- 6 cups rolled or old-fashioned oats (gluten-free)
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dark/Turkish dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Heat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof or parchment paper.
- In a double boiler or bain-marie, heat the honey and oil, stirring well, until melted and smooth.
- Add the oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until all coated in the honey mixture.
- Spread granola evenly onto the baking sheets and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Swap the sheets, turn them around, and bake for an additional 10 -15 minutes, or until browned to your liking.
- Remove from oven, and transfer granola to a large bowl. Stir in the apricots and coconut, then spread back out on the baking sheets and leave to cool.
- Once cooled, transfer to a large jar or container and keep for up to 2 weeks!
- Enjoy for breakfast with fresh fruit and plain yogurt, your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk, or by itself for a snack.