Food for Thought - Gra-NO-la
Think of some ingredients you find in granola. Oats,definitely. Then a variety of nuts and seeds come to mind I’m sure. Nuts and seeds are a great addition to our diet providing various vitamins, minerals and even Omega 3 fats.
But shop-bought granola has other ideas and with it’s hefty price tag have you looked at the ingredients label to see if you get what you pay for? Here are a few examples of granola ingredients - some big brands and some supermarket labels:
‘Fruit and Nut Granola’
Oat Flakes, Sugar, Raisins (6%), Palm Oil, Flaked Almonds (3%), Coconut, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Honey, Sugar Syrup Powder, Flavouring.
‘Crunchy Oat Granola – Raisin and Almond’
British Wholegrain Oat Flakes (68%), Sugar, Raisins (7%), Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed Oil, Palm Oil), Sultanas, Whole & Sliced Almonds (4%), Honey (1%), Sunflower Seeds, Natural Flavouring
‘Super Nutty Granola’
British Wholegrain Oat Flakes (68%), Nuts (Flaked & Whole Almonds (7%), Sliced Brazil Nuts (6%), Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts (3%)), Sugar, Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed Oil, Palm Oil), Honey (1%), Sunflower Seeds, Natural Flavouring
Did you know ingredients are listed in the quantity that they are found in the bag and the top two examples state that around 4% of the ratio is nuts and seeds. So shop-bought granola is primarily made up of 80-90% Oats and sugar. Not as healthy as the ingredients they put in big letters and pictures on the front of the box, huh? Luckily, making your own is super easy and you know exactly what you’ve put into it! Making up a big batch and storing it in an air tight container makes a quick and easy snack to throw together with some yogurt and fruit, sprinkle on top of your porridge or just grab a spoon and dig in!
It might seem expensive buying all the ingredients separately but they’re full of goodness, don’t go off and useable in a variety of other baking or snacks. You can find various recipes for homemade granola but the best thing about it is that you don’t really need one! Just throw together some oats, nuts (broken up quickly in a food processor) and seeds. Throw in a big dollop of coconut oil maybe maple syrup/honey if you have a bit more of a sweet tooth and stick it in the oven stirring regularly!
Here’s a recipe that I’m particularly fond of from ‘Deliciously Ella’. I use it as a base recipe and have added and subtracted various ingredients like coconut flakes, cranberries and different types of nuts.
Cinnamon Pecan Granola
180g almonds, 1 cup
100g pumpkin seeds, 1 cup
100g sunflower seeds, 1 cup
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180c, fan setting.
Place the pecans and almonds in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, so that they are partially crushed. Add them to a large baking tray with the oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds– and mix well.
Melt the coconut oil, cinnamon and maple syrup over a medium heat. Once dissolved into a liquid, add to the rest of the ingredients and mix everything together well.
Place in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to ensure nothing burns. Once golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool, before stirring through any dried fruit (optional not necessary).
Store in an airtight container for up to a month.