You may have read my previous comments on breakfast (Pudding for Breakfast, October 2012), my tiring of cereal and looking for alternatives. This situation reared its head again late last year when our chickens slowed down on their usually reliable egg laying. I believe they need a certain amount of light each day in order to be productive and so, suffering from some sort of avian SAD, the girls were no longer managing their full daily quota. My boiled egg breakfast was put on hold and an emergency replacement had to be found.
Enter my granola which I used to make and had rather forgotten about. Crunchy, nutty, seedy and oaty it has zipped to the top of the hit parade once more and even, with the addition of dried cranberries, featured as our Christmas Breakfast. On top of Greek yogurt with or without a chopped banana it is a rocking start to the day. I feel happily full until lunchtime and even better, the whole family love it. That said my son has it without nuts and my daughter has it without seed or nuts.
Whilst it is undeniably a little sweet, it isn’t loaded with refined sugars, nor with salt or preservatives (and other unknowns) so it must score pretty high on the healthy scale. We have kept the dried cranberries that denoted it as our Christmas Granola but you could easily substitute raisins or chopped dried apricots. The seed and nut combination below is what I use but as ever, you can customise this to your tastes. One more thing, there seem to be various grades of maple syrup, one of the cheaper ones would be fine here.
2 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
100ml maple syprup
3 tablespoons runny honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300g rolled oats
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
100g nuts (I use part chopped hazelnuts, part chopped or flaked almonds)
20g desiccated coconut
50g dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 150. Mix the first eight ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Spread over two baking sheets and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, split the coconut between the two and give it all a good mix. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Once golden, remove and allow to cool. Add the cranberries and put into an airtight jar or tin.