My comfort food is breakfast food at any time of the day. And there are a lot of positives to making a batch of granola:
- Your house will smell amazing! That toasty oats and nut aroma wafting out of the kitchen is a definite way to improve your mood.
- It’s pretty healthy. Even with the slightly indulgent addition of dark chocolate to this recipe, homemade granola has lots of nourishing ingredients – oats, nuts, dried fruit and you control the levels of sugar and fat (feel free to experiment with reducing them in this recipe) which are generally lower than shop bought cereals anyway.
- It lasts a while. Yep, even when you keep dipping into the supply for a snack (those little glass pudding jars are the perfect size!), it still goes a good long way. Plus, that snack is usually healthier than a cereal bar (as you don’t need extra syrup/dates etc to make the ingredients stick together) – which is what I would eat instead.
So yay for granola! I’ve loaded this one up with my favourite flavours (has anyone noticed I’ve got a real thing for chocolate and cherry?) but as with all my granola recipes, it’s really flexible and you can swap a lot of the ingredients for things you already have (feel free to ask in the comments if you want some inspiration).
I’ve also found it makes the perfect gift. Leave it outside the house of someone who’s self-isolating or just isolated (if you’re somewhere where you’re not in lockdown that is) and you will make their day. I’ve got a big bag made up to take my mum for mother’s day tomorrow – it will hopefully be a little food-based light in all this darkness 🙂
Makes 1 large jar
- 3½ cups/380g oats
- 1 cup/130g almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 cup/130g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup/25g flaked almonds (optional)
- ½ cup/100g coconut oil
- ½ cup/125ml maple syrup
- ¼ cup/60ml peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter)
- ½ -1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large bar/100g dark chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup/90g dried cherries
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Place the coconut oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, salt and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until everything has melted together.
- Take off the heat and set aside.
- Combine the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate and cherries, in a large bowl and stir in the coconut oil mixture until everything is thoroughly coated.
- Spread out over a large baking tray and cook in the oven for around 30 mins until golden brown, stirring halfway through. (If you like your granola extra clumpy like I do, press it down into tray with the back of a spoon after stirring at the halfway point.) Check on it regularly towards the end of the cooking time so it doesn’t get too brown.
- Leave to cool on the trays before mixing in the chocolate and cherries.
- Use as a topping for smoothie bowls, yogurt or stewed fruit, enjoy a bowl with a little milk (oh-so-good with chocolate oat milk) or just eat straight from the jar like trail mix!
- Store in an airtight jar. It should stay fresh for at least a month but I cannot guarantee it will last anywhere near that long with hungry people around.