OK.. Put your hands up, all those who made a resolution to eat healthy this year! And now put your hands up, all those who have broken that resolution in disastrous fashion! Hmmm.. thought as much! Well.. you can still make amends for your sins, considering we haven't yet crossed Q1 for the year.
Everyone who is anyone knows that the path to healthy eating starts with a good breakfast. Don't even think of putting up a contrary argument to this. Just go onto the Internet and read why breakfast is so important. In an ideal world, the ideal breakfast would be a freshly cooked breakfast. But, we don't live in an ideal world. So for those rushed weekday mornings, there is invariably cereal and milk to start the day.
And this is where we are all getting it wrong in the first place. Because, those boxes of breakfast cereals have a huge amount of sugar hidden in them, more than we realise. Read this article for a quick read on the topic. There's always Google and its wealth of information for more on the topic.
And the alternative to shop bought is to make it at home. It is fuss-free, healthier and tastier. Search around for granola recipes and I found most of them had a bit too much honey/maple syrup/apple juice for my liking. So, I tweaked this recipe I found on Jamie's website and it worked for me.
This is a lot like the honey-toasted muesli recipe I put up a while back. But, I loaded this with nuts and dried fruits much more. Nuts because they keep me full longer and dried fruits provide their own natural sweetness and hence, remove the need to add extra sugar.
Any blogger will tell you that making your own homemade granola is all about customising it to your taste. Simply add whatever you like and leave the rest out. The end result is a granola that will at first, taste less sweeter than what you usually buy. You probably think that you'll have to add honey when you have it. But, once the dried fruits are added, its just right!!
As you can see, I like my granola with milk and fresh fruit but it works well with yoghurt too! And because of all the nut and dried fruit action going on, a small amount goes a long way. Its works as breakfast as well as for a mid-afternoon snack. Just try making it once. If it doesn't convert you, you can go back to those sugar bombs for breakfast!!
Finally, I have been missing for most of February but I am gonna correct that this month. I have some interesting posts lined up that should hit you very soon in quick succession. Till then, why not make some granola! Hope you had a lovely weekend and Monday morning was kind to you!!
Adapted from this recipe by Jamie Oliver.
- 1.5 cup oats/oatmeal (I used Quakers) (Use quick cooking NOT instant)
- 1 heaped cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts)
- 1/4 cup seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1.5 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup dried fruit (dried raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, dates)
- Pre-heat the oven to 165 deg C.
- Put oats, mixed nuts, mixed seeds and cinnamon on a baking sheet. Stir well; smooth out.
- Drizzle with honey and oil; stir.
- Bake 20-25 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so take out and stir, then smooth down with a wooden spoon and put back in oven.
- When granola is golden, remove from oven, mix in dried fruit (roughly chop any large pieces); let cool.
- Serve with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. You can keep leftover granola in an airtight container about 2 weeks.