Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Homemade Christmas Granola

I love to make granola, and every year I make a huge batch with my favourite festive ingredients and spices for Christmassy breakfasts, snacks and cheeky suppers. While most people are preparing to loosen off their belts and undo their jeans buttons over the next few weeks, I'm preparing myself for a January half marathon, and with that comes good food with all the right nutrients, and plenty of it! I see this as no reason to avoid all of the festive indulgences, but I am trying to take care and control with my Christmas eating - this granola is one good place to start!

Normally I bake my granola in the oven, but more often than not I end up burning most of it! It also takes a while, and lots of care to get it right, and let's not even talk about the cleaning up that's needed once I've finished! This granola is made on the hob, and though it needs constant attention, it can be started and finished within 45 minutes - not bad for a whole season's worth of breakfast!

On-the-Hob Christmas Granola

5 cups oats (I used 4 cups jumbo, 1 cup rolled)
1 cup oatbran
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup flaked almonds (or nut of choice)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sultanas
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 large tbsp black treacle
4 tbsp honey
3 tbsp oil (I use groundnut)

1. On a very low heat, stir together the treacle, honey and oil with the vanilla until combined.
2. Add all other ingredients except the cranberries and sultanas and coat evenly - this might take some stirring!
3. Transfer all the granola to a large bowl. Then, bit by bit, heat small batches on a medium-high heat until toasted - this takes about 7-10 minutes per batch.
4. Once the whole mixture is cooked, put it all back in the pan and add the dried fruit. Warm through on a low heat for a couple of minutes.
5. Pack up in jars as Christmas gifts, or serve it with yogurt, milk or anything else!