Thursday, 26 January 2017

Homemade maple syrup and pecan nut granola

So it was my mumma's birthday mid January and due to it having just been Christmas, funds were low. My mum absolutely LOVES granola (and anything cereal based really) so i thought what better way to gift her, than with something home made, with love. She's pretty much addicted when it comes to granola, like seriously, i think she has a problem. Especially pecan nuts, i'll often find her in the kitchen sneaking the nuts from the box (sorry mum)


This recipe and granola in general is super versatile, which is great as people like different things, so you can tailor it to your taste. In mine version, it's really just a simple mix of pecans and walnuts (her two favourites) but you could swap these for the nuts you prefer, like almonds, peanuts or even seeds such as sunflower, flaxseed. If you're going to add dried fruit or sultanas i suggest adding those after baking, purely so you don't overcook/dry them out. The same would go for chocolate chips or curls, you don't want them melting and ruining your granola mix. 


Mixed granola on the baking sheet ready for the oven

January isn't the best month to have a birthday is it, i mean everyones back on their diets after Christmas, people low on cash and the weather is just miserable. Well, this is how my mum feels about it; but to be positive, you could see it as a good thing too. One, we aren't all on diets, so that can go out the window, two; if you are low on cash, do what i've done and use up ingredients from the home to homemake/bake something, or get crafty with bits around the home and hand make a card. Nothing is better than homemade gifts and or cards, it feels much more personal and treasurable. 


*note i'm so terrible with sticking to recipe measurements and often wing it/make my own up and use play it by eye, so the below if a rough guideline, feel free to vary the measurements

Recipe:

225g old fashion rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut oil (i think coconut oil gives it a mellow flavour & it's super healthy) but you can play around with oil according to taste
100/125ml of maple syrup (roughly)
2 Squeezes of runny honey (optional) i added this for further natural sweetness (you could also use golden syrup)
100g pecan nuts (or whatever nuts you like)
50g walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (optional) you could play around here with various spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg etc. Into the wet mixture you could always add a little peanut butter if you're a PB addict or another sort of flavouring....    Options really are endless

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees/Gas mark 2 (if you still have a gas oven like me) i actually played around with temperature, i started out with it quite low, as i wanted it to cook and bind together but i didn't want it to brown straight away

Line a baking tray with parchment paper ready for the granola mix

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and honey in a saucepan over a low heat until melted

Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, mix well until combined and fully distributed 

Tip the mixture onto the baking sheet (you might need two trays, depending on quantity and size) spread out and flatten down, make sure granola is clumped together so it sticks together well

Put into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for around 30 to 40 minutes, check after 20 to see how it's getting on. I did this and decided that i was going to turn the oven up a touch from gas mark 2, to 3 and 10 minutes later i turned it up to 4 just to really finish it off, get it golden brown and to make it heavenly crunchy and crisp to eat

Remove from the oven when you're satisfied with the results and leave to cool on a wire rack until cooled completely before 'smashing' it up, it is important that you do leave it to fully cool or the results wont be as good

Once cooled break up your granola into sized chunks of your choice

Store in an airtight container and use within a month


So there we have it, my super simple, easy, no fuss nutty granola recipe, i hope you enjoy making it just as much as i did. This was my first ever attempt too! Comment below if you want any more info, but also if you decide to make a version of your own, i'd love to see!!

Come back soon for more delicious recipes! 

Laura 

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