Spiced Granola

I’ve mentioned my terrible breakfast habits before.  Despite always being famished from the moment I wake up, I often don’t make time for the first meal of the day.   Winters are the worst.  From November to March when my alarm goes off it’s dark outside and the lack of natural light makes waking up a real struggle.  On these weekday mornings given the choice of 10 more minutes in bed or a nutritious breakfast, I invariably choose the latter and end up munching on white toast and jam in front of my registration class.  It’s not the best start to the day and it’s not a very good example to set either.

So, I’ve decided to make a late New Year’s resolution to start eating breakfast at home.  I’ve got a new, louder alarm that I’ve placed more than an arms length away from my bed and I’m looking around for tempting breakfast ideas to coax me out from under my cosy duvet.  My only criteria for these breakfasts are the following:

  • It’s got to be quick and easy to make.
  • It’s got to be filling.
  • It’s got to be tasty.

When I saw a post on Warda’s blog for “The Best Granola”, it seemed like a good place to start.  Altering the ingredients to suit my whims and my storecupboard, I whipped up a batch on Sunday afternoon and was very impressed with the gently spiced, super-crunchy results.  Though a bowl of this alone would be a little sweet for my taste (perhaps all granolas are?  I’ve never tried it before), sprinkled over a blander cereal like Weetabix, it’s the perfect start to a day. 

Sweet & Spicy Granola (adapted from here)

(Makes lots!)

225g Porridge Oats

50g Bran

75g Plain Flour

50g Desicated Coconut

50g Flax Seeds

150g Brazil Nuts, bashed up

50g Dried Cranberries

120g Butter

200g Brown Sugar

1/2 tspn Salt

1/2 tspn Nutmeg

1/2 tspn Cinnamon

1/2 tspn Cardamon Seeds

1 tspn Vanilla Essence

  • Preheat oven to 150oC.
  • Mix the porridge, bran, flour, coconut, cranberries and nuts in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter and honey gently in  a small pan until a smooth consistency.  Add the spices, vanilla essence and salt.  Stir well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine well using your hands.
  • Lay the mixture out on baking trays lined with baking paper.
  • Bake in the oven for 45-1 hour taking out frequently and turning mixture to brown evenly and break up into small chunks.
  • The granola is ready to be taken out the oven when dried and evenly browned.
  • Leave to cool before storing in an airtight container.

22 thoughts on “Spiced Granola

  1. Wendy –
    I have similar issues – and my new breakfast favourite is birchermuesli. I posted a recipe on my blog a while ago, but I have since adapted it for my (also early) morning routine – so I either soak 1/2 c oats overnight with some berries (I use frozen summer berries) and a spoonful of maple syrup and then mix in grated apple and some 2% greek yoghurt in the morning, or I make it all the night before and just give it a good stir in the morning (sometimes some water comes out of the fruit over night). What could be quicker then a completely ready-made breakfast waiting for you in the fridge?

  2. Deana – Like the yogurt idea. May try it out!

    Peter – Recommend that you do. I’m addicted. :)

    Lucy – If I had a full bowl of this I’d feel a bit sick. My teeth wouldn’t hurt (they just don’t tend to do that) but I couldn’t deal with all the sugar. A wee sprinkling over my weetabix is perfect. :)

    Joanna – Now, I tried something like this once and, though it was REALLY tasty, it was so cold I couldn’t stomach it first thing. My microwave is collecting dust in the garage so I can’t really even use that to take the chill off. What to do….

  3. Yum – that looks great – we used to make muesli in a student house which was delicious but the malt extract (I think) was a pain to use. E is going through a muesli phase so maybe i should try making some.

    RE your breakfasts, I am the type who needs breakfast or I am grumpy. I can recommend having some fruit around the house for the quick and easy breakfast when you have no time to prepare anything!

  4. I would rather have breakfast than lunch. Breakfast is my wake me up meal for sure. While I am having a cup of tea, I make a small pot of oatmeal. I use the ones that take 5 minutes to make. In my bowl while the oatmeal is cooking I chop of some fresh fruit, if I have it, or a nice handful of dried fruit and some chopped pecans. I add just a bit of brown sugar and a hit of cinnamon to make it not so boring and there you have it! It is warm and very filling. Holds me together until lunch!
    In the summer months is when I do cold cereal with fruit as it gets too warm down here for oatmeal during that season.
    These are weekday breakfasts, weekends is another story!

  5. Oh I hear you about the struggle to fit in time for a sensible breakfast during the winter months. That snooze button is just too tempting! I’m a toast person, wolfed down as I put on the washing machine/iron my shirt/dry my hair/search for my tube pass. Such a bad habit but I just hate weekday mornings! I’m better at weekends though so I may give this delicious-looking granola a try. Yum!

  6. Johanna – I always have fruit around the house but alone it’s nowhere near enough for my breakfast! It has to be filling to set me up for a morning of teaching. Carbs, is what my body craves. :)

    Deb – “I’d rather have breakfast than lunch” – my! that’s some statement! Wish I had the drive to actually make porridge first thing. I’ve tried but I just can’t keep it up… It’s so good though.

    Antonia – Ah, the snooze button. Whoever invented it should either be hugged or shot.

  7. I love the sound of the cardamom and cinnamon in a breakfast treat. I understand fully the difficulty of getting up (especially when it’s a reasonable hour and it’s STILL dark). I’ve found something this year that’s helping, though. I keep my little bedside light on the floor (musn’t wake the husband, grumble grumble) but I’ve switched it to an energy saving lightbulb which warms up slowly and gently gets me to open my eyes rather than blasts me with light. It’s a small thing, but it’s helping.

  8. I love that you add flax seed and diverse spices to your granola. Great photo too!
    I find breakfast so enjoyable. I make coffee, fruit and news on npr my morning ritual. I should add your granola to the mix!

  9. The nice thing about granola and yogurt is that it’s easily portable! Just put some in a plastic cup and you can eat it at your desk if you don’t have time before you leave the house.

  10. Sounds and looks very tasty (nice picture there Wendy). I bet it would still taste fab with much, much less sugar, especially if you used a bit more dried fruit. Another trick is to use less sugar but coat the ingredients in apple juice before you cook them.

    I do a similar thing to Joanna – mix a couple of spoonfuls of the granola with yogurt and a grated apple the night before and leave it in the fridge, then you can have a whole 5 minutes extra in bed.

  11. Annemarie – Hmmm, like that idea. Might try it out.

    Warda – My favourites too. :)

    Joy – Sounds relaxing. I should get into that habit too.

    Helen – Thank you! Will save that for a rainy day/busy week.

    A Fork Full of Spaghetti – Thank you! :)

    Leslie – Think I’d find it a little sweet to snack on alone but perhaps I could mix it with something…

    Sophie – There’s no way I could eat a whole bowl of this as it’s too sweet for me (though not for D who is munching a large bowl now). Assumed it needed that much sugar and butter to bind together? Replacing it with dried fruit would just create muesli, no?
    No matter, a small handful over my weetabix is lovely. :)

  12. I’m a lunch-skipper, not a breakfast skipper. It seems you’re just the opposite. I have to have my coffee and something filling in the morning–I usually have oatmeal, especially on cold mornings. However, I’ve been wanting to experiment more with making my own granola. Last time I tried, I didn’t like it very much. This looks like a winner recipe though, and one that I can play with.

    Hang in there, spring and sunshine are on their way!

  13. Christina – I can’t skip either! My problem is that if I don’t eat breakfast at home then I turn to white toast and jam from the school’s breakfast club. Do love this granola but, I kid you not, it is sweet. Want to toy with it myself. There must be a way to make it bind with less sugar and butter.

  14. Brilynn – Hello and welcome! Intrigued by your granola. The ingredients list is more wholesome. Wonder if it’d suit my unsweet-tooth better?

    Truffle – It was really fun to make, I have to say. And it’s great to nibble on!

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