Homemade granola is always a staple and very popular in my house. This energy-boosting, crunchy superfood granola is so delicious and simply one of the best choices for breakfast! It's packed full of the superpower of wholesome ingredients to help you start your day the right way. Granola makes a great snack too and my one-year-old sometimes demands it even for dinner.
Most of the store-bought granolas are high in refined sugar, contain unhealthy fats and oils or low-cost bulk fillers. This recipe is very easy to make and ingredients can be easily subsidised with your favourites or what you have got in the pantry on the day. The best thing about granola that there is no "correct" recipe! This means that all experimentation is good experimentation. Feel free to try different combinations of seeds and nuts - and perfect it to meet your own needs. This recipe is just one of many blends.
Wholegrain oats are definitely a superfood! They are loaded with soluble fibre and, high in protein and contain B-group vitamins and minerals, such as selenium, magnesium and zinc. Oats release sugar into blood slowly (great for concentration) and were used as an effective treatment for diabetes before insulin was invented.
In Chinese medicine, goji berries have been used for over 6000 years and are said to be the elixir of life. Their rich, sweet taste, along with their high fibre content makes them an excellent addition to this superfoods granola. Goji berries also contain all 8 essential amino acids (complete protein), and a good source of vitamins C and A, and minerals, such as iron and zinc. They might help to boost the immune system and protect against flu. Not many people know that goji berries are also unusually good for your eyes, they contain a powerful antioxidant, zeaxanthin, which protects your retina and decreases the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
To sweeten, I chose Maltexo, a pure malt extract that has been used for generations in NZ as a supplement to boost general well-being and combat the trials of winter. It also brings a nice golden colour to the granola and gives it slightly caramelly taste. I also like to add pure Canadian maple syrup for its woody, warm, and a light spice flavour. Plus, it adds extra nutrients, such as manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, and potassium. If you don't have Maltexo or Maple Syrup you can easily subsidise it with honey, golden syrup, or any other sweetener of your choice. Just go easy on the sweetener to keep the sugar content down. It might be a good idea to avoid white, highly processed sugars and artificial sweetener.
I am a big fan of coconut oil because it adds a nice light flavour to the granola and is high in healthy saturated fats which are linked to reducing heart disease risk. I always add plenty of nuts and seeds to my granola for texture and extra nutrients, including healthy protein.
Serve this granola with quality Greek-style natural yoghurt, milk of your choice, kefir (for recipe follow the link), freshly squeezed orange juice or just as it is with your favourite beverage. Fresh, tangy berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries) add moisture and acidity that counterbalance the dryness of granola making it even more delicious.
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup linseed
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
200g coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (can be substitute with date syrup or golden syrup)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups banana chips
2 cups desiccated coconut (or coconut chips)
200g Goji berries (or sultanas)
50g apple crisps (optional)
Preheat oven to 220C fan-forced.
Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Prepare wet ingredients: spoon Maltexo and maple syrup into a measuring cup; melt coconut oil into a small bowl, and prepare the vanilla extract.
Pour melted coconut oil and vanilla extract into the measuring cups with syrups and mix it well with the spoon.
Pour the mixture from the measuring cup over the dry ingredients.
Give it a good mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated and covered in the oil and syrup mixture. I normally use two tablespoons and toss it all around. You can also just use your hands.
Prepare a deep baking tray and line it with the baking paper. Transfer your granola onto the tray and put into the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare inclusions: break banans chips and apple crisps into smaller pieces, combine desiccated coconut and goji berries and mix it through.
After 5 minutes or when you see a golden brown colour on the surface of granola take the tray out and mix it well with the spatula. Return it back to the oven for another 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as it can burn very easily.
Once desired golden brown colour is obtained take it out of the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 200C fan-forced. Add all inclusions.
Mix thoroughly with the spatula until all ingredients are evenly incorporated in the mixture.
Return back to the oven at 200C for another 8-10 minutes. Remember to watch it closely as it can burn very fast, especially at this stage. Then, take it out and mix well again (last time). Turn the oven off.
Return granola into the off oven for another 5 minutes.
Now you just need to cool it down before serving or transferring into an airtight container for storage.
It's so delicious and appetising that it is very hard to resist not to have some straight away.
My son LOVES it!
In fact, all my family LOVES it. We do an adult version of this granola with the addition of 70% Belgium dark chocolate.
Now, it's a complete meal!