Breakfast, Make-ahead

Almond & Pumpkin Seed Granola

Oats are such a traditional breakfast staple, but until recently I rarely ate them. I had to have a breakfast rethink though, because I just didn’t have time to make poached eggs on wholegrain toast anymore! I kept running out of time before having to leave to catch the train to London, and I never failed to forget something. My favourite item to forget was my keys. Liam has even given me a nickname for when I forget things! To save myself from running around in a panic, trying to remember everything I need for every step of the day, I needed to claw back some time.

When searching for a quick and easy, but healthy breakfast, I remembered the modest oat. I didn’t want to be cooking anything, so porridge was out the window – I wanted something slightly more exciting anyway! I found many delicious-sounding recipes for granola, and I was sold. The thought of waking up to a breakfast of granola, Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit was a mouth-watering one. I love how I can now crawl out of bed and into the kitchen, and about 1 minute later I have a really nutritious and filling breakfast.

Not only is this granola pretty darn tasty, but it is filled with nutritious goodies too; Adding seeds and nuts to the granola ensures a great range of vitamins and minerals in your granola bowl. The oats themselves are the stars of the show, though. Oats are really high in a type of dietary fibre called beta-glucan, which we don’t naturally produce in our bodies. This fibre helps regulate our immune system, helping us fight off natsy pathogens, and is also strongly linked to preventing weight gain and increasing insulin resistance, which helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Play around with combinations of nuts, seeds and dried fruit to find a combination you love.

It all depends on whether you gorge yourself with granola for breakfast, brunch, afternoon snack and supper or not, but this recipe fed me for over a week. Obviously it is easy to double up, too.

This is what you need:

Dry ingredients:

2 cups whole rolled oats
1/4 cup / 50g pumpkin seeds (you can use no/different seeds if you wish)
1/3 cup / 65g almonds, roughly chopped (you can use no/different nuts if you wish)
1 1/2 Tbsp Ground flax seed
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

Wet ingredients:

2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
1 very ripe banana, roughly mashed

Extras:

1/3 cup / 50g raisins/dried fruit

To serve:

2-3 Tbsp Greek yoghurt
Strawberries/pomegranate/blueberries/banana/other fruit of your choice

This is what you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (170°C Fan)

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl

3. Combine the wet ingredients in a bowl and smush it all together with your (clean) hands. You want to make sure it is all combined. Don’t worry if it is a little lumpy, but try to make it as smooth as possible.

4. Tip the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients, and mix away! Make sure it is really well mixed. Use your hands for this too.

5. Pour it all out on a baking tray, making sure it is evenly spread.

6. Bake for 10 minutes, stir it around a bit, then bake for another 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need a few minutes longer. Keep a keen eye on it though… You don’t want burnt granola!

7. Let cool before stirring in the raisins/dried fruit. Store in an airtight container in the cupboard/kitchen side.

8. Enjoy with yoghurt and fresh fruit!

Stay happy,

Alice x

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