By the time this post goes live, my batch of Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola is already a distant memory, the last bowl having been devoured with this morning's breakfasting in the GF household. So good was it, that Miss GF is already demanding another batch and to be shown exactly how to make it, so that it remains available at all times!
No doubt we will move onto another recipe and another fad fairly soon, but for now, this is the breakfast (and snack) of choice. I am happy with that! This granola is full of really healthy ingredients which are perfect for energising the day ahead.
Packed full of crispy-crunchy, immunity-enhancing, cholesterol-busting, slow-energy releasing oats, this is a bowl that seriously satisfies. It's loaded with a generous quantity of protein-rich pecans and almonds. Both are known for their high ratios of healthy unsaturated fats, which support a lowering of cholesterol, as well as containing positive quantities of flavonoids which help fight inflammation.
Sweetened with natural unrefined sugars in the form of maple syrup and coconut palm sugar, the chocolate in this granola is also on the virtuosity continuum, being a hefty dose of cacao...... Packed full of antioxidants, cacao will also boost your serotonin levels to literally put a smile on your face!
And if that isn't enough good news ingredients, I also used coconut oil to roast and bind the mix, which we all know is fantastically good for you at a whole number of levels, as well as being very trendy!
This granola is totally delicious without the addition of the fruit, but throwing in some dried pear and cherries took it to a higher level. Both compliment the chocolate really well, adding an alternative chewy texture and zingy tang to the mix. I recently discovered the dried pear (from Whitworths) in Tesco's and can't get enough of the stuff. It comes in individual snack packs and is perfect for keeping in the car for traffic jam munchies!
All in all, this is a perfect breakfast and is so easy to make. Not having made granola before, I thought it would be a bit of a faff, but it really is a case of mixing and then baking to dry it out! Store it in large Kilner jars or airtight food-savers and it will stay fresh for ages, although I challenge you to have any left after a few days....... I (stupidly) left ours in full view on the kitchen table and couldn't walk past without dipping my hand in. Whilst it tastes amazing in a bowl doused with ice-cold milk, it also makes a very moreish snack..... beware!
I am linking my Deliciously Healthy Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola with the following :
We Should Cocoa with the lovely Choclette at Tin and Thyme, who works tirelessly every month to help us showcase our lovely chocolatey treats.
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too
Cook Once Eat Twice (or make a huge batch and eat everyday for breakfast!) with Searching for Spice
Cook Blog Share, this week with Hijacked by Twins
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum
Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation
Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel (& Free From Farmhouse)
The Foodies 100 Healthy January Linkup
Chocolate, Cherry, Pear & Pecan Granola
400g gluten free oats
60g cacao powder (available from health shops)
100g raw pecan nuts
40g flaked almonds
65g coconut palm sugar
large pinch fine sea salt
160g maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g extra virgin coconut oil - melted
1 large egg white (optional - if egg-intolerant or vegan, leave out)
90g dried pear pieces (I used Whitworths)
100g whole dried cherries (I used Tesco's)
- Preheat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 2.
- Line a couple of large deep'ish baking trays/roasting tins with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, weigh and mix together the oats, cacao powder, pecans, almonds, coconut sugar and salt.
- Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted coconut oil and stir through thoroughly, until the mixture is completely 'damp' looking.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg white until light and frothy.
- Add to the granola mix and fold through thoroughly.
- Spread the granola mix onto the trays, ensuring the layer is not too thick.
- Bake for 20 minutes and then toss the granola with a spatula to turn over.
- Bake a further 20 minutes and toss again.
- Bake a further 10 minutes (approximately or until the mixture feels dry) and then turn the oven off, leaving the granola on the trays in the oven to cool as the oven cools.
- Remove from the oven when cool, tip into a large bowl and add the dried cherries and pear. Stir through evenly.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy as a snack to nibble on or with your favourite milk for breakfast.
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