There’s something really cosy and rewarding about making your own cereal. Best of all, you know exactly what’s in it and you can experiment to alter the taste to what you enjoy most. I have always had this love/hate relationship with granola. I love the taste and texture of it’s chunky clusters – but more than that, I hate all the refined and processed fats & sugars that often make up more than 40% of the bowl in front of me. Most granolas are actually classified as a “high sugar” food as many of them pack more than 24 gm of sugar per single cup serving – most of which are processed sugars that have been added to make it taste better. Meanwhile, the added fats are poor quality fats with little to no nutrition benefit.
The beauty of this granola is that there are no added oils or refined sugars. Instead of using a lot of honey/syrup to make it stick together, I opted for a mix of egg whites + a little raw honey, which turned out to be the perfect solution for a granola that forms in big crispy clusters. It is perfectly filling and the egg whites & nuts/seeds provide a bunch of healthy protein that will keep you energized and full for hours afterwards. It is also high in fiber, which, aside from fighting off cravings, keep you satisfied longer + promote a healthy digestive system.
This recipe is very adaptable and allows you to easily use your own favorite mix of nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit if you prefer. It is really hard to mess up as long as you stick to the quantities in the recipe and keep the ratio between wet & dry. This particular combination of mango & hazelnuts is my favorite at the moment and is just too good not to share.
For a gluten-free version you can swap the rolled oats for buckwheat flakes, which have a great earthy flavor and are high in protein & essential minerals. Alternative to buckwheat, you can also go for quinoa flakes, which give it an extra boost of protein.
The most important thing for a successful result is to get the baking time down right. And since every oven tends to be a little different you may need to keep an extra good eye on it to make sure you don’t under — or overdo it. I usually place the granola in the middle of the oven and keep a close eye on the color of it during the last 5 minutes of baking. Take a little piece out and feel to make sure it is not too soft. Yet, you don’t want it to taste burnt either, so it is all about a fine balance.
The picture to the left is the granola after just getting out of the oven. It is still in large clusters that I break up into smaller pieces before leaving it to cool. After cooling, place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge where it keeps perfectly for up to 2 weeks.
|Mango Hazelnut Granola Clusters|| |
- ½ cup organic rolled oats
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, whole
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup cashew nuts, roughly chopped/halved
- ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped/halved
- ¼ cup dried apricots, diced
- 1 ounce (30 gm) dried mango, diced
- 2 organic egg whites
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp scraped vanilla bean or vanilla extract
- Set oven to 150 C (300 F)
- Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, chopped cashews, chopped hazelnuts, dried apricots & mango pieces in a bowl
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs whites, vanilla bean/extract & honey until the color lightens and it becomes fluffy
- Pour egg white mixture over the dry nut mixture and mix well
- Spread out the granola mixture in a semi thin layer on a piece of non stick parchment (note: it is important that the mixture is somewhat even in thickness as this will prevent certain areas from overcooking while other coming out too soft)
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake at 150 C for 10 minutes when the top is golden brown
- Remove from oven and turn the large pieces of granola to brown on the bottom side as well (you'll notice the granola pieces are still a little soggy at this point which is ok)
- Bake for another 5-8 minutes until the bottom side is golden brown as well (make sure to remove before it overcooks)
- Remove from oven again and break apart the large pieces of granola to the size you want before leaving to cool completely. While cooling of the slightly soft pieces will harden up (if they don't they probably should've had a couple of extra minutes)
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Ways to serve…
- Serve with unsweetened Organic Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries (as pictured).
- Serve with chilled coconut or almond milk & freshly cut peach pieces.
- Enjoy it straight as a healthy snack.
- Sprinkle over blueberries or peaches and bake for a simple & healthy crumble.
- Use as topping for baked apple. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with a little yogurt or fresh cream.