Strawberry and Hazelnut Granola
I'm a big fan of sweet, crunchy granola. However, it's really, really difficult to find store-bought granola that isn't loaded with sugar and oil. Unfortunately, what is often positioned as a health food, is actually more of a dessert food. So, my self-imposed challenge was to create a sweet and crunchy granola that was free from added sugar (including syrups like maple, brown rice or honey) and was also free from oil. The secret to the sweetness in this recipe is fruit, predominantly whole strawberries, along with several medjool dates. And the crunchiness? That was achieved with macadamias, blended into a creamy nut butter. The end result is a bowl full of plant-based, tasty, nutritious granola! I really hope you enjoy it!
3 cups of rolled oats
250g strawberries, leaves removed
1 cup macadamias
1/2 cup of hazelnuts (could use any nuts here)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
6 medjool dates, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup of water
1 Tbsp of vanilla essence
1/2 Tbsp of cinammon
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius/300 degrees Farenheit. Place the oats, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, coconut, cinammon, salt and half of the dates into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Set aside.
2. Place the macadamias in a food processor or blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Add the water. Blend until the mixture appears smooth and creamy. Then add the strawberries to the mixture.
4. Blend the strawberry and macadamia mixture, adding in the dates and vanilla as it blends. (Have a taste of this mixture - divine!). Next, add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients.
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, ensuring that the dry mixture is evenly coated. Spread mixture on a flat non-stick baking tray.
6. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes in total. Every 10 minutes, remove mixture from the oven and break up the pieces. This will help to achieve that famous granola clustered texture! Depending on your oven, cooking times may vary slightly. You'll know your granola is done when there are no sticky bits remaining.
7. Allow the granola to cool completely , and then store in an airtight container or jar.
8. Enjoy it any way you like!
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
M.Clin.Ex.Phys (Rehab), AEP, AES, ESSAM