Imagine someone told you that you’ll be living on a desert island for the rest of your life. You’re only allowed to choose three foods you can take with you, on an unlimited supply. Sounds pretty daunting, doesn’t it? Accepting to give up on all our favourite foods but three is no easy task for us food lovers. I’d probably starve before making a decision, but granola would have very good chances of making it to my final list.
To me, granola isn’t just a breakfast staple: I could have it at any time of the day. I even keep a pack in my office desk drawer, for the days when I don’t have a packed lunch; I find it much more fulfilling than any pre-packed plastic-tasting sandwich from the supermarket’s chilled foods counter. I have to endure the occasional puzzled looks from plastic-sandwich-eating colleagues, generally meaning either “you’re so healthy” or “you’re so weird“, but a bowlful of granola, loaded with nuts and raisins and topped with Greek yoghurt, is well worth the hassle!
I’ve put off making my own granola for a long time, fearing I wouldn’t be up to the challenge. The idea that something so good could be simple and quick to make didn’t cross my mind until I stumbled across this recipe by Rachel Sanders, which made preparing granola look quite easy. I’d definitely recommend that you try it: it’s a great way to combine all the ingredients that you like in your own, unique granola, and you’ll be surprised to see how much you can get with very little effort. Besides, you can use it to prepare even more breakfast or brunch treats that you’ll love. Read on if you want to get inspired!
Honey Nut Granola and Raspberry Yoghurt Parfaits
- 250g rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 60g chopped pecans
- 80g whole hazelnuts
- 50g mixed seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
- 170g runny honey
- 25ml olive oil
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 150g mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, apricots, cranberries and goji berries)
The best thing about homemade granola is that you can experiment with any ingredient you fancy: it’s a great opportunity to be creative with your choices of nuts, seeds, fruit and spices. If you’re in for a treat, you can also add chocolate chips. Not that my Healthy Eater Conscience will ever let me do that!
- Mix the oats, hazelnuts, pecans, seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Add the honey, oil and egg white, and stir very well, until all the dry mixture is soaked.
- Spread out the mixture on a large oven dish with deep edges, lightly greased with oil.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°, and bake for 30 minutes.
- After the first 30 minutes, remove your granola from the oven and stir it a little, to make sure it bakes evenly on all sides.
- Bake for 15 more minutes, or until it looks golden brown. Don’t worry if it’s not crunchy yet: it will harden as it cools down.
- Set the granola aside, and let it cool down completely.
- Add the dried fruit. You should only do this after baking, to avoid it getting burnt. Also, make sure your fruit is cut in bite-sized chunks: apricots and goji berries will need a little chopping before going in.
- Remove the granola from the oven dish, and store it in an airtight container.
You have to be careful with this granola: it tastes so good, that you may end up munching it all away before you can even realise it! To avoid the temptation, I used it to make another recipe for Chobani‘s CHObrunch challenge. After baking my Pizza Muffins and Honey Nut Muffins, I had ran out of plain yoghurt, so I figured I’d try something different. A recipe in which yoghurt was king, rather than just an ingredient in the mixture. A Martha Stewart recipe gave me the idea of parfaits: just what I needed to suit my granola and yoghurt addiction!
- As much granola as you like
- 2 pots yoghurt (I used Chobani Raspberry Strained Yoghurt)
- 100g raspberries, roughly chopped
Here’s how you make them:
- Take two glasses, or other transparent containers. They’ll be great to enhance the presentation of your parfaits, as they will make every layer stand out. Hi-ball tumblers work quite well; I’d like to try wine glasses the next time!
- Fill your glasses. Make a layer of yoghurt, one of chopped raspberries, and one of granola. A piping bag will be ideal to create even layers of yoghurt, but if you don’t have one, a plain old spoon will do.
- Repeat the procedure once, and complete with a final layer of yoghurt.
- Top with more chopped raspberries, serve and enjoy.
Combine the taste of homemade granola with the health benefits of fat-free, protein-rich Chobani strained yoghurt, and you’ll have a glass of morning goodness, ideal to start your day on a high note. I’d gladly have an unlimited supply of these parfaits on a desert island; what about you?
Note: The Raspberry Yoghurt Parfaits are one of my entries to Chobani’s CHObrunch Challenge. Chobani supplied me with the yoghurt I used, as part of a baking kit they sent me when I signed up for the contest.
This recipe is also my entry to July’s Recipes for Life. This is a monthly round-up from Vanesther at Bangers & Mash, collecting tasty, wholesome and easy-to-cook recipes that revolve around just three main ingredients. There’s a monthly winner, and the best recipes will be included in a new charity cookbook to be published by SWALLOW later this year. July’s ingredients are berries, honey and oats. These parfaits look like a perfect fit!