The delicious goodness of home baked ‘Crunchy Granola’

Starting the day with a bowl of home-baked ‘Crunchy Granola’ is something my kids love. For so long I served them bowls of cooked oats for breakfast (because it is my favourite!) and for a long time they happily devoured it …  but then they started to get a little bored with porridge and the complaining and moaning started to creep in each morning. Living in Singapore where it is always hot, also meant it was time to mix it up and  try something new and more suitable to the warmer climate. 

This granola still has all the complex carbohydrates, fibre and goodness of a bowl of porridge but a completely different taste and texture. I love that it’s crunchy but also satisfyingly chewy and moist. Although the oven time is a little longer and I usually cooking smaller batches for best results – this part is flexible. You can cook it at a higher temperature for less time and you can put it all in and mix it up periodically as it bakes rather than small batches. This depend on your available time and individual tastes. 

My family’s favourite ways to eat Crunchy Granola are: 

 + For breakfast with a splash of milk, chopped fresh berries or banana & a big dollop of organic yoghurt

+ Sprinkled on top of a cup of coconut or greek organic yoghurt with a little berry sauce drizzled on {I make the sauce by heating a handful of frozen berries in a pan with a 1/3 cup water until berries are softened and warmed. Then blitz in blender until smooth and runny} 

+ In a breakfast trifle cup with layers of chia pudding, fresh fruit, granola, yoghurt. 

+ As a snack in a small container in lunch box. 

+ Served with some grapes and berries as a pick n mix snack.

 

++++++    Recipe   ++++++

Ingredients:

++  5 cups of organic rolled oats (Gluten Free where possible, or you can substitute rolled quinoa for naturally Gluten Free option)

++ 2 ripe bananas – mashed 

++ 2 apples, grated core and all  

++ Juice from half an orange, freshly squeezed

++ 1/3 cup Coconut oil (or melted organic butter). 

++ 6 dates, pitted and soaked in cup of hot water (then blitzed to a sauce with a stick blender)

++ teaspoon of cinnamon 

Optional: 1/4 cup coconut sugar if you need some extra sweetness (the dates and bananas are usually enough to sweeten it though). 

Optional additions for once baked & cooled : coconut flakes, puffed quinoa, chopped dates, chopped (unsulphered) apricots, dehydrated apple rings, buckwheat puffs, raisins, chopped nuts, chopped seeds.  

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 140′ C

In a large bowl combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon or your hands. Massage the liquids and fruits into the oats and set aside for a few minutes for the oats to soak up the flavours and soften. 

On a baking tray, roll out a sheet of baking paper (I use a re-usable silicone baking sheet which is naturally non-stick ). Spoon out half the mixture, spread it around the sheet and flatten it down. I usually do this quite unevenly so it gives chunks and crunchy bits as well as larger, softer cookie-like bits. 

Put it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes and then pull it out and check on it. If its still very moist you can put it back in for 10 minute increments but check regularly (ovens tend to vary greatly so best to keep an eye on it first time!). If there are bits on the thinner side that are dry and crispy remove those before putting back in. The best way is to keep trying/tasting small bits until it is to your liking. I like it when it is like little oat cookie chunks / crumbles. You don’t want too much moisture left inside the chunks though as they won’t store for as long. 

Repeat with the remaining mixture until its all baked and broken into spoon size chunks. 

Once cooled you can add any additional extras as listed above or of your own liking and store in a big air tight jar. Can be stored in fridge or in a pantry and lasts around 1-2 weeks (but not in our house!!). 

Now watch it disappear …