I have always had a sweet tooth. Actually, only to limit it to one tooth is a understatement(!). I think if I could, I would have every meal as a sweet rather than a savoury one. Frequently, granola was labelled as a 'health' food (whatever that means?). If you investigate, it can contain more sugar and fat than cocopops or cinnamon puffs. Although it can contain healthy fats of nuts or seeds, ultimately when consumed in high loads isn't so 'healthy' for you. But, I am a HUGE advocate of moderation, healthy alternatives and homemade baking.
I have granola as a treat. Although, sometimes I am still put off by the red traffic food labels on the granola bags. It can means sometimes I will sway away from picking up a bag. WHICH IS SILLY! Foods are neither 'good' or 'bad' and traffic light labelling is merely to give customers a quick idea of the quality of the food content. That is it! Not to say 'red- stay away' 'green- go for me'. It is perfectly healthy and a good relationship with food to pick up foods with red and orange in - as long as it's not every day consuming. Think the same about your festive fun this time of year. Christmas is not everyday - in fact it comes ONCE a year. Therefore it is totally okay, good, healthy, normal to completely 'let go' and have treats.
Although, granola isn't particularly 'festive' - it is for me. Why? As I just explained this time of year is about treats, and one - off pleasures. Food is such a enjoyable part of this season. I enjoy baking and coming up with a 'Martha' alternative because I simply enjoy trying out flavours and getting all experimental in the kitchen. Homemade baking doesn't have to be just for you... ever thought about giving your baking as a gift? It's thoughtful, inexpensive and can be personalised (also made in big batches too!!).
Granola is my festive treat. Homemade is something really special and can bring all the festive feels in the kitchen (especially at a time where the kitchen can be more stress with christmas food being such a big task).
Although this recipe still contains sugar, fat and maybe would have a 'red' label if it was branded in a supermarket. DOES IT REALLY MATTER? no!
Ingredients (1 batch)
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of almonds
1/3 cup of chopped dried apricots
LOTS OF cinnamon
1/4 pumpkin seeds
12 dried chopped dates
12 chopped dried cranberries
5 tbsp of maple syrup
4 tbsp of coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp of caramel syrup (optional - makes it smell phenomenal!)
1. pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
2. add oats to a oven tray evenly spread - sprinkle cinnamon on top.
3. Add almonds, pumpkin seeds, chopped apricots. mix everything up!
4. Place in oven for 5 - 10 mins
5. Whilst in the oven, in a bowl add all the wet ingredients together (add some extra cinnamon) and mix well.
6. Take tray out of oven and turn oven off.
7. Add the liquid and chopped dates and cranberries to the tray and stir around so everything gets covered.
8. Add the tray back in the 'off' oven for 5 minutes.
(put the granola in a air-tight container - gift it for yourself or for someone else!).
Festive feels and tidings of complete joy and good food,
Simply Martha x