Honey Hazelnut Granola
I am not good at choosing favourites, but if I had to choose a favourite meal of the day it would be breakfast or brunch. I love a lazy Sunday morning spent around the table enjoying a fresh cup of coffee and something delicious from the kitchen. I have a hard time comprehending how people can skip this most important and tasty meal. I certainly do not function well in the morning without some kind of fuel to get me going and I imagine most people are the same whether they know it or not.
Weekday breakfasts can be a challenge as we are often rushed in the morning getting ourselves and maybe our kids ready for the day and out the door. While oatmeal is the usual winter breakfast fare at our house, I almost always have some granola in the freezer for days where we are in a hurry or are just plain tired of porridge. Granola also makes a great snack or dessert with some fresh fruit and yogurt. This granola has plenty of fiber, good fats and protein from the nuts and seeds and lots of great taste.
Making your own granola is really simple and leaves a lot of room for creativity. I like to make it in large batches and freeze most of it. You can pretty well eat it out of the freezer or just take a little bit out at a time and keep it in a sealed jar to maintain the freshness. Most granola is heavy on fat and sugar and costs a lot to buy. Once you try making it yourself you will wonder why you ever bought it.
In this version I used some local hazelnuts, lovely plump organic Thompson raisins, rye flakes and a touch of cinnamon. Feel free to experiment with different nut and dried fruit combinations and switch up the rolled grains. Try kamut, spelt, quinoa or rye flakes instead of oats.
If you wanted to cut back even more on the sugar and fat in this recipe I imagine you could replace some of the sweetener and oil with apple or pear juice. If this granola recipe isn’t reason enough to start eating breakfast how about the fact that people who eat breakfast have more energy, better mental performance, memory and mood and are more likely to live to a ripe 100 years of age.
Honey Hazelnut Granola
This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook and is one you can really make your own depending on your tastes and what you have in the pantry. Use whatever type of rolled grain you like, try dried apricots, cherries, mango or cranberries instead of raisins and switch up hazelnuts for almonds, pecans, walnuts or Brazil nuts.
Makes 7 cups
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup rolled rye flakes (or more oats)
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 275F.
In a large bowl mix the oats, rye flakes, coconut, seeds, nuts, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a small saucepan combine the coconut oil, honey, and water. Heat over medium heat until the coconut oil and honey are melted. Add the vanilla.
Pour the oil and honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. Scoop out onto 2 baking sheets and spread it out evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until light golden in colour. Stir every 10 minutes to ensure even browning. Let cool and add the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container or freeze to ensure freshness.