What’s in your breakfast bowl in the mornings?
On weekends, I alternate between my two favorite: homemade waffles and scrambled eggs. During the week, between waking up early and the commute to work, I don’t have time for a cooked breakfast. I would love to freshly blend fruits into a smoothie but I don’t think my partner would appreciate the harsh wake-up call at 5:30 am. And even if he didn’t mind, washing up the blender would take too much time.
I really enjoy the crunchiness of granola but I find the store bought ones often too sweet. Before I buy anything, I often ask myself: “can I make this?” and if I answer “yes, I can”, then I will give it a try because homemade is so much tastier, nutritious and fun. You can control the quality of the items, and customize it to your liking (for example NO raisins … see my go to snack on a precious post).
When I had a food blog, I experimented with making my own granola. It is a fairly easy process but it involves adding oil and sweetener to make it sticky. There is always a ratio of dry versus wet ingredients to achieve the desired consistency. In this recipe, there is no oil involved, instead a syrup is made with the sweetener and some water to make the oats stick together.
Let’s stop the fluff and get the recipe:
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
Mix 4 cups of jumbo oats with 1 cup of your favourite nuts & seeds and a few dates cut in small chunks – note: if you use medium to large nuts such as almonds, Brazil, pecan, chop them in small pieces.
Lay the lot on a cooking sheet on your oven tray.
In a saucepan, pour up to 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to boil. Once boiling, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and stir constantly for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the oats & nuts/seeds mix.
Put the tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Check and move it around with the spatula to get the crispier corners towards the middle and allow the rest to crisp. Add back to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Check once more and once satisfied, remove from the heat and allow to cool to solidify into chunks.
Then it’s up to you to add dried fruits according to your personal tastes. I particularly like to use toasted coconut, dried apples, or dried mango.