I need to make granola every single week. 80% of the time, I actually get round to it! After months of making granola, I’ve finally started to nail down some go-to recipes and methods for getting crispy granola, without a charcoal twang. And by charcoal twang, I mean… burnt.
My OH goes through what can only be described as obsession phases with breakfast. Currently, it’s granola and rice milk followed by ‘Marmite’ on toast; before that it was soy yogurt, berries, almond butter and nuts. As you can imagine, our weekly budget prefers the granola obsession – but that’s not why we swapped. He ended up giving up his last favourite breakfast because of what we suspect is an intolerance of strawberries. Sucks for him… more strawberries for me!
After a few weeks of indecision, we ended up at the new favourite: granola.
Cranberry and Pumpkin Granola
To be fair, my OH is not fussy over the flavour of his granola. I’ve made him chocolate granola, peanut butter granola, pumpkin spice granola and even banana bread granola! However, my cranberry and pumpkin granola seems to go down well each and every time I make it, and I can make it without burning the oats the most often, so this is the one I decided to write down first. If you like, I can share the others too? How does peanut butter granola sound?
Sugar free and oil free granola
A little thing to note: I don’t add sugar or oil to my vegan homemade granola recipes. I personally don’t actually like the taste of oil, and I’d rather get my macro-nutrients from whole foods where possible, so I add seeds and (granted, processed) nut butter to this homemade granola. The almond butter we use has zero added ingredient: it’s literally almonds blended up and put in a tub! We buy it 1kg at a time because… well… we love all nut butters!
The same essentially applies to sugars. I don’t avoid sugar generally speaking – just look at my vegan cupcake recipes! – but I see no reason to add it if I can achieve the same with a whole food instead. That’s why I use soaked dates to sweeten my vegan homemade granola. You don’t need to use Medjool dates for this recipe. They’re pretty hard to come by, and also expensive, in England, so I just pick up dried dates from Holland and Barrett, or the nearest supermarket, whenever I run out.
Why I love flaxseed
AKA linseed. Since I don’t eat any animal products, I’m pretty conscious of my micronutrients – especially Omegas, magnesium and (of course) protein. Ground flaxseed has all three, which is why I love it! My primary reason for eating it is the ALAs found in it’s omega-3’s (I get my DHA from a supplement at the moment). Omega-3 is important because it’s a fatty acid – which is important to the brain and its cognitive behavioural functions. I don’t know about you, but I want a healthy brain! I add ground flaxseed to every breakfast I can, whether it’s a tablespoon with breakfast or in homemade granola.
Substitutes are good too
I’ve like to mix up my ground seeds from time to time, especially if they still have flaxseed in. The batch I made this week uses tonnes of ground berries and seeds – it has flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and goji berries! It doesn’t really make a difference to taste, so use whatever you have – it doesn’t have to be pure flaxseed! If you don’t have any, just leave it out.
Watch how to make my homemade granola
Vegan Homemade Granola
- 250 g old-fashioned porridge oats not instant
- 50 g pumpkin seeds
- 50 g dried cranberries
- 50 g almonds roughly chopped
- 50 g ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 150 g dried dates soaked in hot water
- 50 g smooth almond butter
- 120 ml date water (from soaked dates) ~ ½ cup
- 50 g unsweetened shredded coconut
- Put the dried dates in a jug or bowl and pour hot water over until they're covered. Leave for at least 10 minutes, preferably about 30 minutes.150 g dried dates
- Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a large baking tray, or two smaller ones, with baking parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients EXCEPT for the coconut and cranberries.250 g old-fashioned porridge oats, 50 g pumpkin seeds, 50 g almonds, 50 g ground flaxseed, 1 tsp cinnamon
- Drain the dates, reserving the water, and put them in a blender. Add the almond butter and 1/2 cup of the reserved date water. Blend until smooth.120 ml date water (from soaked dates), 50 g smooth almond butter
- Pour the date and nut butter blend over the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread the mixture over the baking tray(s) and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes: I check mine every 5 minutes after 15 minutes. The oats in the granola should be golden, but the cranberries should NOT be black. At 150°C mine consistently takes 25 minutes.
- Remove the granola from the oven and leave it to cool completely, then mix in the shredded coconut and dried cranberries.50 g dried cranberries, 50 g unsweetened shredded coconut
- Store in an airtight container.