This wholesome homemade granola recipe really is a great (healthy) way to start your day!
Love ginger? This granola happens to be loaded with both fresh and ground ginger. Enjoy this healthy granola recipe with milk or yoghurt for breakfast or as a healthy snack in between meals.
Is granola healthy?
Before we answer this key question, we just wanted to answer another equally-important question – what is granola? It’s basically a breakfast cereal that’s very similar to muesli. But, unlike muesli, it tends to be coated with a layer of sugar, i.e. honey, to make it much crunchier and chunkier.1
Most granola recipes are made from a combination of oats, chopped nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
And as for whether or not granola’s healthy for us or not, well it all depends on the portion size and the ingredients that have gone into making it, e.g. not too much sugar.
If you buy your granola instead of make your own, some brands tend to contain more fruit and less sugar and the other way round. Meanwhile, other granola recipe brands may be higher in fibre, protein and fat if they contain a higher quota of nuts and seeds.
Granola can be healthy, providing you stick to the recommended daily portion size of ½ a cup or 3 tablespoons (because of the sugar coating). As a general rule of thumb, the average oat and raisin granola recipe contains around 200 calories per 45g serving – 32g of which is carbohydrates, 10g is sugar, 3 to 5g is fibre and protein and 4 to 7g is fat.
Before we move on, just one more thing about granola’s health credentials. It’s possible to make your daily granola serving even healthier by enjoying it with natural yoghurt and lots of fresh fruit, as well as some extra nuts and seeds.
Homemade versus shop bought granola
Decisions, decisions….should you buy your granola from the shop or should you have a go at whipping up your own? Well, if you’ve got the time to make your own granola recipe and really like being in the kitchen, making all sorts of culinary creations, then the answer’s a bit of a no-brainer.
But if you really aren’t sure which way to sway, then we’ve listed some pros and cons from off the top of our head to help you decide which route to go down.
- You know exactly what’s gone into making it
- Tends to be cheaper than shop-bought granola
- You can adjust the ingredients levels to suit your tastebuds, e.g. less fruit and more nuts
- You’ve got to spend time buying the ingredients
- Then you’ve got to find time to make it
- It could take some time to get your recipe just right
- It’s readily available
- You don’t have to think about making it
- There are all sorts of recipes, ready and waiting for you to try
- You might not like all of the ingredients
- They can be quite high in sugar (certain brands)
- There’s no satisfaction from having made it yourself!
Reasons why granola is great for breakfast
A bowl of granola makes a great breakfast for several reasons. If you’re tucking into a basic granola recipe - of oats, nuts, seeds, honey or another sweetener and a little oil – then it’s a relatively healthy brekkie (for the reasons mentioned above).2
The oats provide you with fibre to keep you regular, while you get protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fats from the nuts and seeds. All in all, your morning serving of granola should provide you with enough energy to keep you going until around lunch-time, thanks to the oat content. Meanwhile, the other ingredients, e.g. nuts and seeds, help your body to function healthily.
Granola’s also incredibly versatile too and can be tweaked as little or much as you like to really make it your own. For instance, by enjoying it with milk or yoghurt, fruit or seeds or both, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and so on…
Tips for making granola crunchy
Granola is relatively easy to make (note the word ‘relatively’) because on the whole it really is, but there is a slight ‘but.’
How to make crunchy granola
If you cook your granola at a higher temperature, it can cause the ingredients, such as the nuts, seeds and coconut, to burn before being given the chance to dry out properly and get nice and crunchy.
The best way to avoid this? Stick to using a low temperature, keep a close eye on your granola as it’s cooking, and stir it from time-to-time so that it browns evenly.3
How to make sure your granola doesn’t lose its crunch
So that’s how you bake crunchy granola, but how do you keep it nice and crunchy?
First of all, you need to leave your granola to fully cool down before doing anything with it. This will stop any condensation from making it soggy once you’ve stored it away somewhere.4
Once it’s at room temperature, take your granola and put it into an airtight bag or container. The main thing is it needs to be fully sealed. Vacuum-packed bags are just the trick for granola.
Then keep your granola in a dark, dry cupboard, away from any major heat sources. Believe it or not, it will keep like this for up to 6 months. If you live in a hot, humid environment the shelf life will be more like 2 to 3 months. Test your granola every so often, and if you notice it becoming stale, you can always pop it in the freezer to make it last longer.
How to crunch up your granola if it’s starting to taste a bit stale
Yep, it’s perfectly possible to do this! If you notice that your granola’s starting to lose its crunch, then take your serving and heat it up in the microwave.5
In doing so, you’re heating up the oils that have been absorbed by the oats etc. and re-toasting the nuts and grains. You only need to microwave the mixture for around 10 seconds on high. If you’re doing a bigger batch, spread it out on a plate and microwave for 10 seconds until it’s crispy again.
Ginger-Spiced Oat Granola Recipe
Makes: 16 servings
Suitable for: Vegetarians (this recipe can also be gluten-free, if gluten-free oats are used. Honey can also be substituted with several other alternatives to make it vegan-friendly - keep reading for details)
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Cooking equipment needed: Measuring scales, teaspoon, tablespoon, 2 mixing bowls, wooden spoon, 2 baking trays
Can it be frozen? Yes!
100g of this granola contains the following:
|Energy||Fat (of which saturates)||Carbs (of which sugars)||Fibre||Protein||Salt|
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp ground ginger*
- 1 tsp cinnamon*
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 120ml maple syrup*
- 300g oats*
- 200g mixed seeds*
- 100g cranberries*
- 100g sultanas*
- 50g dried cherries*
- 4 tbsp honey(vegan alternative below)*
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan.
- Mix together the oil, ground ginger, cinnamon, fresh ginger and maple syrup in a bowl, and mix well to combine.
- Combine the oats and seeds in a large bowl and pour over the liquid.
- Stir to combine and then divide the granola mixture between two baking trays so you have a thin layer on each tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes, tossing the granola mix once half way through.
- Drizzle over the honey and stir in the dried fruits.
- Return to the oven for another 10 minutes until golden and crisp.
- Allow to cool completely before transferring to a sealable bag or tub. Will keep for up to two weeks.
Vegan alternative to honey
If you’d like to make sure your ginger granola recipe is vegan-friendly, then you’ll need to replace the honey with agave nectar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup or sorghum syrup. The good news is, there are several different honey alternatives to choose from.6
Agave syrup, which is also called agave nectar, is pretty much identical to honey in terms of texture, sweetness and taste. And, the good news for vegans is, it’s not derived from animals.7 Compared to sugar, agave syrup happens to have a low Glycemic Index (GI); lower than maple syrup, honey, barley malt and sugar.8
Agave nectar is about one and-a-half times sweeter than sugar, which means you can achieve the same sweetness by using less.9 It is versatile and easy to use, popular for sweetening hot drinks, porridge or baking. It can be used in place of syrups, such as golden syrup, but because it’s sweeter than sugar, you’ll need less to achieve the same taste.
However, agave does happen to be slightly higher in something called fructose than sugar. This is why it tastes so sweet. Whereas glucose is converted into energy by our cells, fructose is primarily metabolised by the liver.10 That’s why it’s always best to buy raw agave.
Read more: ‘Why agave syrup is a great vegan substitute for honey.’
Last updated: 11 May 2021