Christmas Orange & Popcorn Granola

A few years ago I was browsing through a free magazine that had popped through the door and came across this lovely recipe from Café Boscanova in Bournemouth.  I thought what a fantastic idea to add popcorn to granola!   So I’ve been making it ever since. It’s a lovely granola with a hint of orange and spice and the popcorn really makes it feel festive and fun.

You can go to town on the popcorn, plain is best to add into the oats mix as it gets coated with the lovely flavours of the oil and spices, but you can add any flavour at the end. Why not try some of the amazing different flavours around at the moment. My current favourite is Joe and Seph’s mince pie flavour or the toffee apple and cinnamon, or the coconut and chia seed – the list goes on.  You can personalise each bowl depending on your families favourites!

Christmas orange and popcorn granola


  • 300g rolled oats
  • 50g coconut flakes
  • 40g plain popcorn
  • 100g dates – chopped into quarters (you want to keep some big chunky bits)
  • Grated zest of one orange
  • 2 tablespoons mixed spice
  • 50g cashew nuts or other nuts (or leave out for a nut free version)
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed or sunflower oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • Couple of handfuls of plain (or flavoured) popcorn


  • Mix the oats, coconut, 40g popcorn, dates, nuts, spice and zest together.
  • In a small saucepan gently heat the oil, butter, sugar, orange juice, maple syrup and vanilla – until the sugar is dissolved. Then add this to the dry mix and stir it all well.
  • Spread the mixture onto a baking tray and bake 180c/350f/Gas 4 – for 15 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven and add the cranberries.
  • Let it cool (it will harden as it cools) and then add a few handfuls of popcorn to the mix.

Freekeh Apple Bowl

I’ve only recently started cooking with Freekeh which is a grain very similar to bulgur wheat. It has a nutty taste and also a high protein content which makes it perfect for breakfast. After discovering the delights of brown rice porridge I thought using Freekeh in the same way might work well – and it does.

You can eat this dish hot or cold.  I made it up the night before and then gave it a quick blast in the microwave to add some warmth.

Freekeh Apple Bowl (makes two portions)


  • 50g Freekeh (dry weight) cooked (wash well, bring to the boil and simmer for 20mins under tender, then drain)
  • 50g sultanas or raisins
  • 25g hazelnuts – crushed
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 100g stewed apple (cooking apples are best) + a bit extra if you want to dollop some on top before eating

Mix everything together in a bowl – I mixed everything whilst the freekeh was still warm to help infuse the flavours.  You can pop it in the fridge for the next day and eat it cold or warm it up.  Or of course eat it as soon as it’s made.

Worth adding another dollop of hot stewed apple on the top and some yoghurt before eating.