Ok, this granola wasn’t intended to be my first recipe on the blog (that was to be a new majestic soup recipe), but this recipe is actually a big, no, not big, a massive win for me in my house.
It started innocently enough, the love affair between my 13 year old and the chocolate coated rice pops. A trip to an aunt in London, where the small cereal variety boxes were descended upon each morning with glee. Back home, during the school holidays, I managed to side step the odd request for said choc pops. However, as the new school year started, the serious pleading for the purchase of the choc pops began … did i not realise just how much better his mornings would be if only he could have that lovely chocolate bowl of deliciousness like all of his friends. It was the sheer scale of the desire for said cereal that got me thinking a few things at once one morning : the chocolate ingredient was central, the rice pops were not. So what about a really healthy breakfast, but with a little chocolate added, still making a pretty healthy breakfast? It just had to be a chocolate version of my toasted muesli/granola! A few trial runs later, and we have it sorted, with the breakfast time happy again (for the moment).
So, here is the final version:
600 g jumbo oats
100 ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
100 ml maple syrup or honey or brown sugar
150 g milk chocolate (i use one containing from 28% to 33% cocoa solids)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Lightly oil a large baking tray or cover with baking parchment.
Place oats in generously sized mixing bowl; mix syrup/honey and oil together in a small bowl (if using brown sugar, will need to heat sugar and oil together gently in saucepan to allow the sugar to dissolve and mix into the oil), add to oats, and mix very well – you want to get each oat flake coated with the mixture as this will yield a crunchier granola. Pile onto baking tray, spread evenly, place in middle of oven, bake for 40 to 50 mins, turning mixture over a few times, to ensure even browning. Once cooked, take out of oven and leave to cool to room temp. When cool, pop back into large bowl used earlier for mixing.
Next, break the chocolate up and either microwave to melt (being careful not to burn), or place in a bowl over hot water to melt. Add the melted chocolate to the now cooled, crisped oats, mix very well to ensure even chocolate distribution, spread out mixture on tray and allow to cool again; once cool, store in an airtight container. Will keep for 1 month, but will not last that long!
Above quantity makes approx 20 generous servings of 40 g each, which have 7.5 g of chocolate each – this is actually just a little over one square of chocolate per portion (a good stat to hold in ones head, in case one begins to feel guilty about the chocolate addition). Amazing really, this is a small indulgence for a big flavour impact!
The above recipe is the basic oat and chocolate version (which we are sticking to at moment); once the granola is cooked, a combination of one or all of the following can be added (depending on taste, pickiness of eaters, etc):
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (50 g in total)
Raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried dates (50 g in total)
Walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, chopped brazils almonds (50 g in total).
Fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, sliced banana, go very well also.
Hope you try this and enjoy. Love to hear back from anyone.