Granola! Granola! Who doesn't love granola? Well, I guess there are some people who don't but the people who do love it, really love it. Like, a lot. They're the ones who order the granola at every cafe you go to even though there are '[insert city's name] best zucchini fritters with whipped goats cheese, pomegranate, micro herbs and anything else that's trendy' on the menu that everyone claims are 'must try'. They are satisfied with the humble granola wherever they go. They feel safe when they order it, they are comforted by the taste of it and they will never stop ordering it as hard as you try.
There is no better gift than the gift of food. And if you're into making christmas gifts, be it because your funds are tight or because you genuinely love making food for people, this granola is a great Christmas treat you can give that one person who really loves it. It's festively filled with cranberries and citrus making it perfect for Christmas day breakfast before the food onslaught begins.
Now, let's talk nutrition. I wouldn't want you to be giving your loved ones something that is bad for them nor would I want you to eat something that isn't worth your body's time and effort so it's important to break this granola down for you.
The base of the granola is rolled oats and mixed puffed grains. Feel free to sub out the oats with a rolled grain that is gluten-free or wheat-free such as spelt. The combination of rolled oats and mixed puffed grains ensures you are getting all the wholegrain nutrients - particularly your B vitamins. B vitamins are important for nervous system function as well as your energy production cycle. They get depleted quickly in high stress periods (i.e. the pre-Christmas crazy) so it's important they are replenished via your food. Whole grains are also a rich source of magnesium and manganese, two nutrients that assist with blood sugar control. No one likes a de-railed blood sugar system so having a diet high in these nutrients is a bonus for everyone.
Macadamia nuts, coconut flakes and chia seeds provide healthy fats to satiate you and keep you fuller for longer. Chia seeds also add to the fibre content of the granola to ensure not only the tastebuds are happy but the gut is too.
There is one ingredient that might stand out in the list and that is mesquite powder. Mesquite is sweet and caramel like giving the granola a certain depth you won't get if you leave it out. It's a Native American food that is full of minerals including zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium and it also has a very low GI (glycemic index) meaning your body breaks it down at a slower rate leading to better balanced blood sugar and more sustained energy. If you do choose to leave it out, add some cinnamon and nutmeg to get those festive flavours in there.
1. Heat your oven to 160 degrees and line a tray with baking paper
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, puffed grains, coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, lemon zest and mesquite powder and give it a quick mix to combine the ingredients well.
3. Place the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a jar or small bowl and quickly heat in the microwave until the coconut oil is melted (about 10-15 seconds). Make sure the ingredients are combined by giving them a quick whisk with a fork and then pour over the granola ingredients. Mix this through well so that everything is coated in oil.
4. Evenly spread the granola out onto the prepared baking tray. You want it to be spread out over one layer so that everything cooks at the same time. Place the tray into your hot oven and cook for around 12 minutes.
5. At 12 minutes, check your granola to see if it's going golden. If so, flip the ingredients and return to the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until the granola is wonderfully golden.
6. Once ready, remove the tray from the oven and add the chopped cranberries to the hot ingredients. Mix them gently and then leave the granola to cool completely. Once you cool, you can add the bee pollen if you are using it.
7. Transfer your granola to an airtight container or jar and store in your pantry for up to 2 weeks.
2 cups rolled oats (or preferred rolled grain)
2 cups mixed puffed grains (spelt, buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 lemon, zested
1 heaped tbsp mesquite powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract
A sprinkle of salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cranberries, roughly chopped
Bee pollen (optional)
- the bee pollen is optional and should only be added if you are not vegan. It gives the granola specks of yellow and adds some beneficial nutrition such as protein and antioxidants
- if you cannot find mixed puffed grains, use any variety you can find such as brown rice or buckwheat