Festive Christmas Granola

Festive Christmas Granola

Festive Christmas Granola

 

I regularly make a batch of granola each month, so as it’s December I thought why not make a batch of festive Christmas granola! When I think of Christmas the colours red, green and white come to mind so I tried to incorporate these into my original granola recipe by way of pistachios, cranberries, freeze dried plums and white coconut flakes. I added christmas spices to create that nostalgic Christmas smell and flavour, and while it was baking the house literally smelt like Christmas cookies!

We have been eating this granola since the beginning of December and there’s nothing like starting your day with a bowl of Christmas cheer to put you in a festive mood. I think we’ll also be eating this granola on Christmas morning (although I suspect I will need to make another batch before then!) as the oats and nuts are nice and filling yet light enough that I know we’ll still have room for all the celebratory food ahead of us.

This Christmas granola would also make a fabulous gift, especially for someone who appreciates handmade gifts. You could seal it in a cellophane bag and tie with a festive ribbon or even better, pile it into a couple of mason jars, tie some ribbons around the tops and attach a hand written label with the recipe on it.

If you do give this recipe a try and post any pictures on Instagram I would love to see them – tag @swoon.food #swoonfood so I can come and admire them! Enjoy x

 

Any questions or comments about this recipe? Leave your comments in the section below, I love to hear from you!

 

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Festive Christmas Granola

 

 

Festive Christmas Granola

4 cups oats
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pistachios (shelled, unsalted)
1 cup walnuts
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1Tbsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup freeze dried plums (or red fruit of choice)
2 cups coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line two baking trays with silicone mats or baking paper.
Gently melt the coconut oil by placing in a heatproof bowl over a pan of steaming water.
Place the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios and walnuts into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mash the banana and combine with the honey, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and salt.
Add the banana mix to the oat mix and stir well to combine, then use your hands to rub it all together. Sprinkle the granola mixture evenly over the lined baking trays, then place in the centre of the oven to bake for 20- 30 minutes, stirring halfway.
The granola is ready when it starts to colour, it will still be soft when you removed it from the oven but should crunch up as it cools. If not, return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Place the baking trays on cooling racks and allow the granola to cool. When the granola is cool enough to handle, add the cranberries, freeze dried plums and coconut flakes.
When completely cold, transfer the granola to airtight containers and store at room temperature in the pantry. This granola will last up to 6 months if stored in an airtight container.

 

Festive Christmas Granola

Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

 

Banana & blueberry buckwheat pancakes by www.swoonfood.com

 

This is another breakfast recipe because breakfast suddenly got a lot more exciting over the summer holidays when we had a lot more time to make something delicious!

That said, for the first two weeks our usual weekend breakfast of poached eggs on toast suddenly became the every day breakfast which started to get a bit monotonous.

So I started playing around with a blueberry pancake recipe that uses just bananas as the sweetener, eggs, a little buckwheat flour, cinnamon and vanilla. I haven’t eaten pancakes since I had to cut out dairy and gluten (except for one time at IHOP in honolulu…and pancake house…) so I was pretty excited to discover that you don’t need either of those ingredients to make really delicious pancakes!

 

Banana & blueberry buckwheat pancakes by www.swoonfood.com

 

The buckwheat flour in this recipe creates a lovely light texture and a mild flavour that works really well with the banana and blueberries. Despite its confusing name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat at all. It is actually the fruit of a plant related to the rhubarb & sorrel family, so technically it’s not even a grain and is completely gluten free. Buckwheat flour also happens to be rich in protein, nutrients and dietary fibre, so combined with the protein in the eggs and the antioxidants in the fruits, these pancakes are great way to start the day.

As the only sweetener in these pancakes is ripe bananas, you can happily add a little pure maple syrup over the top and not feel like you have eaten dessert for breakfast. Enjoy!

Do you have a favourite pancake recipe? Any hints or tips you use for making pancakes?

Leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!

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Banana & blueberry buckwheat pancakes by www.swoonfood.com

 

Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Makes: Approximately 12 small pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla powder or essence
pinch sea salt or himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)
1 cup frozen blueberries

Coconut oil for frying

Mash the bananas well and place in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and stir with the whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk lightly to combine. Lastly add the blueberries and mix in with a large spoon.

Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a good non stick fry pan. When hot, add two large spoonfuls or 1/4 cup of mixture to the pan, shaping into a round pancake shape. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 pancakes in at one time depending on the size of your pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the top each pancake and the bottoms are golden brown, flip with a fish slice and cook another couple of minutes until golden and cooked through.

Serve pancakes while still hot with pure maple syrup and fresh berries.

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

This crunchy maple banana granola has fast become a pantry staple in our house. Up until recently we mainly ate store bought granola or gluten free muesli, as I’d finally found two brands that had little or no added unrefined sugar, were super tasty, and of course very convenient.

Whilst browsing various health food blogs one day however, I came across quite a few recipes for granola sweetened predominantly with banana. The idea of a crunchy, lightly spiced, banana granola sounded super delicious, yet refreshingly healthy at the same time. Plus what also appealed was all the recipes were very quick and easy to make by simply combining all the ingredients and baking them in the oven.

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

After trying out a couple of these recipes I found they tasted amazing straight out of the oven, but went soft as soon as they cooled. I concluded this could either be due to the method of cooking or a combination of too much moisture from the banana and coconut. Perhaps these recipes intended to produce soft style granolas, but to me the definition of a good granola is that it should stay crunchy right until you spoon it into your mouth.

So never one to turn away a cooking challenge, I decided to come up with my own version that still had a lovely banana flavour but stayed crunchy for as long as it’s shelf life.

 

 

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

 

The recipe below is my winning version and produces a granola that has a lovely mild banana flavour, a little bit of spice and a lot of crunch. It bakes at a lower temperature for about an hour as this allows the moisture from the banana to be released while still retaining the flavour. The maple syrup caramelises without burning and you are left with a nice crunchy texture.

Feel free to play around with the amount of spice, and substitute whatever nuts and seeds you prefer. One thing to note is this granola is made with oats so it’s not gluten free, if you are looking for a gluten free granola check out this oat free maple and cinnamon buckwheat granola recipe instead. Hope you enjoy this granola recipe and even better if it becomes a party staple of yours too!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Makes: 1 large jar
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

3 cups of oats
1 cup of coconut thread
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of almonds
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

 

Preheat the oven to 140ºC fan bake and line two baking trays with baking paper or sheets.

Combine the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mash the banana well and combine with the maple syrup. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, with either a spoon or your hands. Spread the mixture evenly over both trays and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are lightly toasted and the mixture is an even caramelised colour.

Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool on the trays. When cold store in airtight containers in the pantry. To serve, combine with your choice of milk or nut milk and whatever fresh fruit you have in season.

This is also a great breakfast on the run, just pop it into a jar, top with milk, fruit and yoghurt and you’re ready to go!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola