Still on the chocolate theme and this time it’s a dark chocolate granola which is decadent but oh so full of antioxidants with all that lovely cacao and not too sweet, in fact it’s more on the bitter side in a really good way. This is an oat free granola using just buckwheat and quinoa flakes. It’s the first time I’ve used buckwheat in granola and it gives a welcome nutty crunch and texture.
You need to store this in the fridge because of the chocolate content. I’ve been sprinkling it on yoghurt and fruit for brekkie.
Triple Choc Buck Granola
- 100g buckwheat
- 50g quinoa flakes
- 50g raw cacao
- 50g cacao nibs
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 50g hazelnuts (whole)
- 50g pecans (broken up)
- 50g coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 100g dried cranberries
- 25g finely grated dark chocolate
Mix the buckwheat, quinoa flakes, raw cacao, the nibs, cardamom and nuts in a bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the maple syrup. Pour this over the buckwheat mixture to coat it well. Spread this mixture onto a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes – stirring it up every 10 minutes. 170c/320f/Gas 4.
Take it out of the oven and mix through the cranberries and grated dark chocolate. Leave it to cool and then put it in a container in the fridge. Worth waiting for at least 30 minutes for it to really chill down in the fridge before you tuck in as it allows the chocolate to really harden up and clump it all up a bit.
This is a quick nut free non clumping granola. I tried to reduce the amount of oil, so it’s more roasted oats than clumpy chunks, but to me that means a little bit healthier and no one is fighting over the biggest clumps to pick out. It also sprinkles brilliantly over yoghurt or as a cereal with milk. Good fruit partners are bananas and blueberries. I may have sprinkled it over ice cream too.
I love fresh ginger, but haven’t been a fan of stem or crystallized ginger in the past and usually leave it out of recipes. But not wanting to be stuck in my flavour ways I thought I’d give it another go. I now admit the error of my ways – it is truly the added magic that gives a wonderful twang of flavour. I shall never leave it out of a recipe again. However – I do believe it’s all about subtlety and in this recipe do make sure it is finely diced so you don’t find big chunks of it.
This makes a large kilner jar full – it keeps for a good few days.
Red Berry & Ginger Roasted Oats
- 300g oats
- 100g sunflower seeds
- 100g pumpkin seeds
- 100g sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 130ml Maple syrup
- 70ml olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g dried cranberries
- 100g goji berries
- 50 crystallized ginger finely chopped
Mix the oats, seeds and spices in a bowl. In another bowl mix the maple syrup, vanilla and olive oil and mix well. Add this to the oat mixture and mix well to ensure the oats are well coated.
Spread out onto two baking sheets (lined with greaseproof paper). Bake at 160c/320f/Gas 3 for 20 minutes. Then give it a stir and cook for a further 20 minutes. The oats should be looking nicely golden.
Remove from the oven and then mix in the berries and ginger. Leave to cool.
I think these two complement each other really well – the creaminess of the banana and the hint of cacao in the granola match perfectly. Of course I’ve also been eating the granola on it’s own straight from the jar and I may have sprinkled it on coconut ice cream last night.
Fig & Cacao Granola
- 100g dried figs (cut into quarters – nice big chunks)
- 50g Macadamia nuts – cut in half
- 100g oats
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 30g goji berries
- Put the figs, oats, nuts, sugar, cacao nibs, powder and cardamom in a bowl. Mix the rapeseed oil with the maple syrup and pour onto the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Lay the mixture on a baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes – 400f/200c/Gas 6.
- After 12 minutes – add the goji berries and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Take out of the oven to cool and clump.
Banana and coconut cream
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 fresh banana
- 2 tablespoons coconut yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all the above together. Lovely served with the 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 honey
- 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, honey 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.
I’ve been trying out granola recipes and trying to incorporate some pumpkin or squash – I’ve had a few failures, mainly because the squash made the granola soggy and I prefer my granola clumpy and crispy. But eventually I’ve found one that works. It is based on a Nigella recipe that used apple puree, and this gave me the idea of using squash puree.
I’ve been eating this all week – even hubby has been caught snacking straight from the jar.
I used crown prince squash to make the puree – but pumpkin or butternut squash would work just as well.
Note – see my Spiced Squash Pancake recipe for how to make the puree.
Crown Prince Granola
- 225g oats
- 60g pumpkin seeds
- 60g sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 50g coconut sugar (or any other brown sugar)
- 100g whole almonds
- 50g Pecans – broken in half
- Pinch salt
- 100g squash puree
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 60g brown rice syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl mix all the wet ingredients until well combined. Then pour the wet into the bowl of dry and coat everything really well. Lay out the mixture onto a baking sheet.
Cook at 160c/320f/Gas 3 for around 40 – 45 minutes. Ensure you move the mixture around on the baking sheet every 15 minutes to stop it browning unevenly. You want it to look golden and have a crunch to it.
Leave it to cool completely in the baking tray and then store in a container. Keeps for a week or so.
I’ve been staring at my bowl of pears all week and they are still as solid as a rock, despite being moved next to the bananas. So instead of prodding them in hopeful anticipation each morning, I decided this morning to take control and soften them by heat.
It was lovely, soft pear that still held it’s shape and was coated in lovely oaty bits. So if you have some pears that are waiting to ripen, don’t wait – do this!
Quick Pear Crunch (serves one)
- 1 unripe pear – cored and diced (keep the skin on)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of oats
- 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon of flaked almonds
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan and then add the diced pear. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes until the pear feels softer.
- Add the oats and toss well to coat the pears. Keep cooking and tossing for another 3 minutes or so, until the oats start to brown.
- Add the cranberries and almonds and toss a couple of times. Then turn the heat off.
- Add the maple syrup and toss everything together.
- Leave it to cool. I prefer mine quite cool, it gives the oats and syrup time to stick everything together a little bit. But I did nibble some bits whilst it was still hot and it was lovely.
Nice served with yoghurt and even a little more maple syrup if you’re feeling decadent.
I’m back from a glorious weekend camping and of course one of the highlights of camping is the early morning brekkie. This time I fancied a change from the usual eggs (or veggie sausages). Granola can be quick and easily cooked in a small pan on the campfire or stove. I have a small one ring gas camping stove.
The beauty of the ingredients is that most come ready packed and none of them require being kept in a fridge or cool bag. I love finding all the individual sachets of stuff that you can use, the choice is endless – so it’s easy to mix up all your favourite sachets and have endless versions of this.
This recipe makes enough for one good size portion – I ate most of it for brekkie and then snacked on the rest during the course of the morning.
- 40g oats + a sprinkle of spice (I bagged up a mix of rye and jumbo oats and added a teaspoon of cinnamon – ginger or ground cardamom is good too)
- 1 sachet of nut butter (Pip & Nut is fab)
- 1 small individual pot of honey
- 1 sachet of nuts/seeds/dried fruit (endless choice here – or just make up your own)
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (I put some in a small pot but you can get sachets too)
In a small frying pan (or whatever pan you have) -melt the coconut oil over a gentle heat and then add the sachet of nut butter mix them well together. Add the oats & spice and cook for around 3 – 4 minutes, stirring all the time to coat the oats thoroughly.
It will start to go slightly brown and the spice and oats will start to give off a lovely smell, then you know it’s almost done.
Stir through your seeds/nuts/dried fruit and turn the heat off. Then stir through the honey.
Leave to cool to enable it all to clump together nicely.
Eat! Add it to yoghurt, milk, fresh fruit or just eat it on it’s own. It will keep (apparently) for a day or two in a sealed container.
Further adventures with beetroot and a lazy bank holiday morning produced this wonderfully colourful granola. It has lovely hints of cardamom and ginger and with no added sugar I can pretend it’s super healthy. It’s certainly lovely with coconut yoghurt. As usual I’ve been snacking on this all day. Granola is not just for brekkie.
Beetroot & red berry granola
Makes a medium kilner jar’s worth.
- 200g rolled oats
- 50g Pumpkin seeds
- 50g linseeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 large raw beetroot – peeled – around 160g – chopped into chunks
- 1cm cube of fresh ginger
- 50g coconut oil (before melting – so it’s still solid when you weigh it)
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil (or other oil of choice)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g goji berries
First make the beetroot coating. Melt the coconut oil gently in a pan – I find it confusing when a recipe states coconut oil as I never know if that means melted or solid – so I’ve started weighing my solid coconut oil to be clear.
Then put the beetroot, fresh ginger, melted coconut oil and walnut oil in a blender. The texture will look like a very thick smoothie – see the photo below – pre mixing in.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, linseeds and cardamom. Add the beetroot mix and mix in well – making sure everything is well coated.
Rub some butter on a baking sheet and spread the mix onto the sheet. Bake for 10minutes at 180c/350f/Gas 4
Take it out and shake it up – then add the cranberries, goji berries and ground ginger. Mix it all up again and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Leave it to cool then tuck in.