Christmas Granola

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Breakfast gets a bit ignored at Christmas.  It’s all about the turkey, the roasted parsnips, the brussels sprouts and the Christmas pudding.  Who needs breakfast when there are boxes of Quality Street and mince pies to devour?  I am here to plead the case for eating a good breakfast on Christmas day.  To start with, it’s usually a day when lunch turns up late, I mean really late.  You need fuel to get through the wait. Mince pies are not the right type of fuel.  Perhaps more importantly, opening presents requires muscular strength.  It’s no good if you are hopped up on sugar, you will fade too fast.  Breakfast will protect you against tummy rumblings during the Vicar’s sermon.  It will soak up the port you are working your way through while you cook.  It will make you a more pleasant and patient human being.  Breakfast is your friend.

I’ve made you some granola.  I added spices to it, just to make it extra special and Christmassy.  It has oats for soluble fibre and slow release energy, nuts for protein, cranberries for vitamin C, coconut for a host of vitamins and minerals.  It will see you through.  You can thank me later.  Enjoy with natural yoghurt, milk or just to snack on during the day. 
150g (5oz) gluten free oats
25g (1oz) coconut flakes
50g (2oz) pecans
50g (2oz) whole almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa powder
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp unrefined brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp coconut oil, melted
Handful dried cranberries
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5, 190°C, 375°F. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.  In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients apart from the cranberries. Add the oil, syrup and sugar last. Mix well and spread evenly across a baking tray. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven removing every ten minutes to toss granola ensuring all sides are evenly toasted. Bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and add the cranberries. Let it sit on the hot tray until cool then transfer to an air tight container.  Keeps for about two weeks.

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