Do you ever make your own granola? Or perhaps a better question is, do you like granola? Or maybe that’s a stupid question…who doesn’t! Granola in the morning is such amazing power food fuelled by oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. What a great way to start your day. It’s so simple to make and tastes much fresher and crunchier. Another reason to make your own is you can choose just what to put in it! This batch was made at Brad’s request (he is really trying to get healthy! ). Given his love for Black Forest cake, I thought it would be fun to combine all the flavours of his favourite dessert in his morning granola. It’s full of dried morello cherries, hazelnuts and a little sprinkling of chocolate bits. Just to be on the naughty side. 😉
- Oil- 2 tbsp.
- Maple syrup ( I used real Canadian maple syrup)- 1/2 cup/ 125 ml
- Honey- 2 tbsp.
- Vanilla- 1 tsp.
- Rolled Oats- 3 cups/300 gr
- Hazelnuts- 1/4 cup
- Almonds- 1/4 cup
- Pumpkin Seeds- 2 tbsp.
- Dried Cherries- 1/3 cup
- Chocolate chips- 3 tbsp.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
In a large bowl whisk together, oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla. Add all the remaining ingredients except for dried cherries, combine and press the mixture into a parchment lined baking sheet (this way no extra fat is needed for greasing). Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Take it out and mix in dried cherries and chocolate chips, bake for additional 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy the aroma that fills your house. Mmm
My favourite way – which also happens to be a healthier way – to eat granola is sprinkling a couple of tablespoons over yogurt with some frozen berries. This granola is SO good for you but can easily become “not-so-good” if you sit down to a huge bowl of it!
“What can we have for a snack?”, my children say as soon as they step in the house after a day at school. Although they have a cooked lunch there they are absolutely ravenous when they get home. It’s this awkward time of the day, it’s still a bit early for dinner yet their appetites are so big they are not easily satisfied with a piece of fruit anymore. Of course, they ask if we have any biscuits at home…erm English for “cookies”. I am not a fan of giving them cookies for snacks, it just doesn’t sit right with me. However, if I make my own and put all kinds of healthy things in them and control sugar amount I might be okay with the idea and they will be thrilled.
Lo and behold- a protein and other nutrients packed cookie this mom approves. Good and healthy granola ingredients baked into a cookie form and jazzed up with a little bit of dark chocolate, which let’s face it, has many positive benefits for our bodies and spirits. They are chockfull of old-fashioned rolled oats and dried sour cherries sweetened with raw Demerara/Turbinado sugar that has more minerals and nutrients than regular white sugar and has a natural caramel flavour. Bonus!
- Wholewheat or All Purpose Flour- 2 cups
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not quick or instant)- 2 cups
- Baking Soda- 1 tsp.
- Baking Powder- 1/2 tsp.
- Salt- 1/2 tsp.
- Demerara Sugar-1 1/4 cup
- Butter- 1 cup/250 gr
- Eggs- 2 large
- Vanilla- 1 tsp.
- Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks- 1/3 cup
- Dried Sour Cherries- 1/3 cup
- Walnuts or any other nuts (optional)- 1/3 cup
Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C. Line your baking trays with parchment paper.
Mix first 5 ingredients- flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Beat butter and sugar until blended, add eggs and vanilla, continue beating for 2-3 more minutes. You can use electric mixer or an old fashioned wooden spoon. Both work like magic.
Add dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and mix well, now add dried cherries and chocolate chips and walnuts if using. At this point I just get right in there with both hands as I find mixing a cookie dough with a spoon nearly impossible but if you mastered it go for it!
Scoop each cookie with a spoon, using 1/4 cup of dough and drop it on your baking tray spacing them 2″ apart as the cookies will get bigger as they bake. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.
The cookies come out soft and chewy straight from the oven, the aroma in the house creates an atmosphere nothing short of a domestic bliss and perfection. (I wish I could bottle it in and release it on those days when rooms are not getting tidied and homework is not getting done. :-)) Dried cherry in combination with dark chocolate is a heavenly twist on the traditional oatmeal raisin. My kids were mighty impressed!