Thursday, 28 February 2013

Crunchy Granola

For a while now, I have considered myself to be a bit unhealthy. Although I try to eat a balanced diet, I still find myself snacking on biscuits and chocolate. And even though I walk to and from uni everyday, it's not very far away, so I don't see it as anything strenuous. It might not seem that bad, but when I look at myself in the mirror, I don't feel like I'm doing enough.

Which is why, as of last week, I decided to go on a slight diet, comprising of eating more salads, and eating less chocolate. And this week I took it one step further, and started to go jogging.

At the moment, the only effect I'm feeling is a difference in my energy levels. During the day, I feel a lot more awake, and my concentration during lectures is a lot better. And I just feel a lot more positive when I'm tucking in to a salad instead of a plate full of carbs.

Now I've always believed in having breakfast to start the day. I like my food too much to be able to miss a meal. While doing some research, I found that granola was a good idea for breakfast, due to it being mostly oats. Oats are very good for you, as they have a lot of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels. In addition to the oats, you can have a number of different ingredients, including seeds, fruit and nuts. Think of all the healthy goodness.

Now I was quite naughty when I was making this, and I decided to slip in some chocolate chips. I did say I was eating less chocolate, not excluding it completely from my diet. But you can leave out the chocolate, and it's just as delicious.
Ingredients:
300g Rolled Oats
125ml Golden Syrup
2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
2 tbsp Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
50g Pumpkin Seeds
50g Almonds, roughly chopped
50g Pistachios, roughly chopped
75g Dried Cranberries
50g Chocolate Chips

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
In a large bowl, mix together the oil, syrup, honey and vanilla extract.
Add the rolled oats, seeds and nuts, and mix together.
Tip the oat mixture onto two separate baking trays. This can be quite difficult due to the mixture being so sticky, but don't worry if you have some clumps of oats, you'll be able to break them apart later.
Bake for 15 minutes in the oven, before adding the dried fruit.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
While baking, roll out some baking parchment, or get out another baking tray.
Remove the granola from the oven, and scrape onto the tray/parchment, and leave to cool.
Once cooled, transfer the granola to an airtight container. At this point break apart the oaty clumps, they should snap into smaller sections.
Also, if you want to add the chocolate, just add it to the container.
The granola should keep in the airtight container for around a month, if you can make it last that long.
It's perfect served with milk or yoghurt, although I prefer it with yoghurt.
It's that nice that I've not just been eating it for breakfast, sometimes I ended up eating it as a snack later the same day.
I just couldn't stop myself...

2 comments:

  1. I'm with you on trying to cut down (but not cut out) on my chocolate intake. I recently posted about some of my favourite finds since trying to eat more healthily...one of which was switching to porridge with date honey - this granola sounds really tasty!

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  2. hey there are lots of studies deeming chocolate (in moderation) beneficial for your diet! That's always my defense, at least I love it! I always throw some dark chocolate (or white chocolate if i'm feeling naughty) into my granola! This looks so good--i'm definately going to try it!

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