When we went on holiday, we unfortunately had a couple of hours delay at the airport which resulted in us not arriving at our villa until about 10pm. This meant Will had to nip out to the local supermarket that evening to get a few essentials for breakfast the next morning.
Seb’s morning breakfast essentials include milk, eggs, yoghurt, bananas, toast and butter (we took a jar of his much loved marmite with us). For me it was yoghurt, strawberries and granola and for Will it was Frosties! Frosties, seriously?! It really made me laugh that he reverted back to his 10-year-old self and picked a children’s cereal as his preferred breakfast option for the week.
It took me back thinking about the cereals we used to eat when we were little like Rice Krispies, Honey Monster Sugar Puffs, Coco Pops and of course Frosties. When I was a little older I graduated onto Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and Special K, but nothing of course beat the sugary laden cereal we were all brought up on. Of course back then parents were being led to believe they were providing a fortified breakfast for their children, totally unaware of the endless teaspoons of sugar that was being added.
Do you remember Pop Tarts too? I used to LOVE those. The only problem of course is that you were toasting jam, which meant EVERY single time you burnt your mouth down to the core. Never did I learn the lesson of waiting long enough to prevent it happening.
Today of course we know only too well how much sugar is in cereal and actually it’s probably one of the worst things you can feed your kids to start the day. The same goes with most granolas on the market, where sugar is added to sweeten it and to create those clusters of oats that you always search for in the packet.
From doing some research, Rude Health is producing probably the healthiest off the shelf granola with no added refined sugar but it obviously comes at a price.
Seb oddly doesn’t like any cereal at all. He likes his overnight oats soaked in yoghurt or almond / coconut milk, and he likes Rude Health coconut & chai granola on Greek yoghurt but that’s really about it. He’d rather have some scrambled eggs, pancakes or toast, which is just fine with me.
I, however, love granola and as I said Rude Health is quite pricey when it’s honestly one of the easiest things to make at home. Plus, when you make it yourself, you realise you can add pretty much whatever you fancy to it.
I’ve never added any cocoa to my granola before, but when I was thinking about those Coco Pops and how they turned the milk all chocolatey, I thought I’d see if I could recreate it but in a healthy version.
Raw Cocoa Powder is a super powder! It’s pure cocoa before the nutrients have been destroyed by the heating process used to produce cocoa (found in conventional drinking chocolates or chocolate bars). It’s jam packed with magnesium, iron and calcium and plenty of other vitamins too. It’s slightly more bitter than the dark chocolate you might be used to so you only need a small amount and it really goes a long way in terms of flavour.
I made the granola into a couple of different breakfast options this week:
Raspberry Granola Layers
I alternated layers of frozen raspberries and granola and topped it with almond milk. This turned the milk that lovely chocolatey flavour too… this is what I like to think of as your healthy version of coco pops.
Greek Yoghurt topped with Granola and drizzled with maple syrup
170g of Total 0% Greek Yoghurt topped with Cocoa-Coconut Granola, Goji berries, blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. This is delicious on a warm day and is full of protein and good fats. A great way to start the day.
The options really are endless, I plan on adding it to the top of some porridge this weekend to add a bit of texture and crunch to those satisfying sweet oats and it also works as a great snack on the go when you just fancy something a little bit sweet and chocolatey to nibble on.
At a fraction of the price (when you make a batch like this) of your regular sugar filled cereals it’s worth a try. Plus, you get all those health benefits too, so it’s a win-win for you.
Cocoa-Coconut Granola (low-carb, refined sugar free)
Makes a large kilner jar
100g rolled organic oats
150g activated buckwheat groats
50g coconut flakes
100g flaked almonds
100g agave nectar
50g coconut oil
3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla extract
Heat your oven to 170 degrees c.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all your dry ingredients excluding the cocoa powder (oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, almonds) in a large bowl.
Put the agave nectar, coconut oil, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over a medium heat and melt and stir to combine.
Add your wet mixture to the dry ingredients and coat well so that all your dry ingredients are covered with the chocolate mixture.
Place the mixture onto your baking tray and spread into an even layer. You don’t want a thick layer so if your tray isn’t very big, spread it across two trays.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking every 7-8 minutes and turning the granola over so that it doesn’t burn on one side.
Leave to cool in the tray before placing in an airtight container.
It will last for a week – 10 days.