A healthy vegan granola with no added sugar, warming spices, orange, brazil and pecans to conjure up festive flavours of Christmas. Although this is great at any time of year.
Is there a Healthy Granola?
We hear this question so much these days, as supermarket granolas have recently received some pretty bad publicity in the news, as they have been found to contain too many pesticides.
So, my quick answer to ‘Is There a Healthy Granola?’ is a simple Yes. Make your own homemade granola! Just ensure you buy organic ingredients and you’ll see below that this recipe is healthy as it doesn’t contain any added sugar. Supermarket granolas, in my opinion, contain far too much unnecessary sugars, so all the more reason to make your own.
Another reason why granola has a reputation of being bad for you is on the calorie count with the amount of nuts it contains. Moderation is key. In any case, after a bowl in the morning, you’ll probably find that it’s pretty filling to set you up until lunchtime.
Healthy Sugar Free Granola
As with all my recipes at home, I always taste-test until I’ve reduced the sugar to a minimum. As with my homemade maple granola, no sugar is needed! The natural sugars are sweet enough to start the day, coming from the maple syrup and the dried fruits.
Christmas Oat Granola
To conjure up some festive flavours, add warming spices, orange zest and special Christmassy nuts such as brazil and pecan nuts. The orange zest may seem a lot, but the flavour calms down as it toasts in the oven, leaving just the right amount for a cosy, Christmas hint at breakfast time. And, ça va sans dire – it goes without saying – that you can enjoy this at ANY time of year!
Christmas Oat Granola
- 300 g (11oz) medium porridge oats (I use Hamlyns when I can)
- 100 g (3.5oz) pepitas (unsalted pumpkin seeds)
- 50 g (1.75oz) sunflower seeds
- 50 g (1.75oz) pecan nuts broken
- 50 g (1.75oz) brazil nuts (or hazelnuts/walnuts) roughly chopped
- good pinch good quality salt (fleur de sel)
- 2 tsp gingerbread spice (pain d'épices) SEE NOTES*
- 1 unwaxed orange - grated zest only
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral oil or coconut oil)
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 80 g (3oz) dried cranberries
- 30 g (1oz) dried goji berries
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C fan); Gas 3
- Measure all the ingredients (except the dried fruits) and grate the zest of the orange in a large bowl. Stir to mix them all well together.
- Grease a large rimmed baking tray with more oil or use a baking tray covered with baking paper (even better, a Silpat silicone mat). Spread out the oat mixture by shaking the tray gently from side to side.
- Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, turn over the mixture to ensure the mixture is toasted evenly, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Leave to cool completely for about 30 minutes then add the dried fruits.
1½ tsp ground cinnamon; ¼ tsp ground nutmeg; ¼ tsp ground ginger; ¼ tsp ground cloves. Serve with the milk of your choice and fresh berries. Although I've indexed this under gluten-free recipes, please note that Coeliac sufferers may not be able to include oats in their diet. Please ensure that oats are marked gluten free if you're following a strict gluten free diet.