Whilst it is true that in so many cases of our attempts at “healthy”, “sugar-free” alternatives to delicious classics, the result is ultimately disappointing, home-made granola does absolutely not have to be the case. Here, all that addictive sweetness and crunch typically provided by the extortionate sugar content of most shop-bought granolas is replicated with what I have found to be the winning combination of dates and coconut oil. Along with the whole-rolled oats, these three ingredients alone are all that is required to make up the basic granola – the rest of the ingredients are technically optional but highly recommended and, of course, 100% adaptable to personal tastes and nutritional needs; The quantities are entirely variable and I like to change it up pretty much every time I make it, but this granola is a reliable go-to breakfast with a perfectly balanced hit of fibre, protein, healthy fats and carbs to kick start the day.
- 4 cups whole-rolled oats
- 1 cup pitted dates
- Tablespoon coconut oil
- Flaked almonds
- Walnuts, chopped or crushed
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sultanas or raisins
- Preheat oven to 180°.
- Put the dates into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set to one side.
- In a large bowl, pour in the oats and then add in the nuts and seeds according to your preference. Do not add any dried fruits at this stage as they will burn in the oven.
- Season abundantly with cinnamon.
- Drain most of the water from the dates, leaving a little in the bowl. Mash with a fork (or whizz in a food processor if you have one) until it forms a smooth paste. If required, add more water until it is the consistency of a pour-able sauce.
- Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and add this into the date liquid.
- Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir VERY well. It is important that every oat is coated in the liquid to achieve that crunch!
- Transfer the mixture onto a large baking tray covered with grease-proof paper and spread it out as much as possible.
- Bake for around 40 minutes, or until you are satisfied that the granola is crunchy enough, turning the mixture with a fork every 10 minutes or so to ensure it crisps up evenly.
- Once out of the oven, add in the sultanas or any other dried fruit desired.
Serve with milk of choice, or use as a crunchy topping for yoghurt or fruit.