I’ll hold my hands up and say that I am quite selfish when it comes to sharing my homemade granola with anyone, even my husband doesn’t get a look in. I’d even go as far as hiding batches so that I can enjoy more bowls of the moorish nutty dish.
My sister is the same and has a firm ‘hands off my granola’ rule with her boyfriend. Although after a few too many Shandys, he forgot this golden rule and got the munchies on his return to their flat and finished off the last bowl. When my sister discovered this in the morning, fuming because (a) it was ‘her’ granola (b) there was no other breakfast options in the flat; she proceeded to throw the empty container at him whilst he was still trying to sleep off his hangover. Perfectly fair reaction in my view!
There is something so satisfying about granola and even though there are endless options out there to purchase off the supermarket shelves, the homemade variety just wins hands down.
I started making granola at home a couple of years ago, but have always found that it can be quite difficult to get that really chunky texture that you get with the mass produced granolas. It’s only really recently that I think I’ve finally perfected it. The key is the addition of oat bran and smaller seeds to really bind the oats together along with allowing the granola to cool before stirring through the dried fruits.
There are endless granola recipes out there which prove its popularity with the public and home bakers and I realise that I’m just adding to the noise by posting another recipe about granola. But, I love granola, so I couldn’t not blog about it at least once.
Granola has the added the benefit of being hugely versatile. Not only does it serve as a great breakfast option either drowned in cold milk or you can cover creamy Greek yoghurt with chunks of granola and some additional drizzled honey for good measure.
But it’s also a great dessert option when served with frozen yogurt or with baked apples and ice cream.
There’s also the option just to munch on it straight from the jar.
Of course there is the added bonus that it makes your house smell simply delicious whilst it’s baking!
This recipe has a nice twist of using apricot conserve as a binding agent and the coconut adds a different dimension of flavour to the granola. I never used to be a fan of coconut (a bit like cinnamon) but in the last year I’ve started adding it to more dishes and I’m now a bit of an addict. Coconut oil is a baking staple now in my kitchen and I’d add it to your variety of oils sitting on your kitchen top.
You can change up the nuts included in the recipe as well as the dried fruits and really make the recipe your own or just use whatever you have left in the cupboard. By including oat bran and flax seeds you’re adding fantastic health boosters to your breakfast and by using honey, maple syrup and apricot as your sweetener, you really don’t need to add sugar (like they do in mass-produced granola).
Just remember to hide the jar from any other halves that might be sneaky nibblers .
Apricot sweetened chunky granola with a dusting of coconut
160g rolled oats
60g blanched hazelnuts
2 tbsp oat bran
2 tbsp sesame seeds
30g unsalted peanuts
3 tsp flax seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp desiccated coconut
100g melted apricot conserve
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp melted coconut oil
100g chopped dried apricots
150g berry mix (I included green raisins, golden raisins, dried blueberries, dried cherries and dried cranberries)
Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking tray with parchment.
In a small bowl, mix together all your ‘wet’ ingredients; melted coconut oil, honey, maple syrup and apricot conserve.
In a large bowl mix together all your oats, nuts and seeds, but don’t add your dried fruits at this point.
Pour the liquid over the oat mixture and combine well so that all the dry ingredients are properly covered. Spread in a thin layer over your baking try and bake for 40 minutes, but make sure you give the ingredients a stir every 10-15 minutes so that you get a nice even bake and a lovely golden colour to all of your mixture.
Remove the tray from the oven and let the ingredients cool slightly and then break up the granola as much you like, although I always think chunky granola is best.
When the granola has cooled a little more, stir through your dried fruits and leave to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container or jar.