We are currently renovating our kitchen so cooking and baking is pretty much impossible at the moment (though I did somehow manage to make jam in the study yesterday!). So far I have learned how to plaster and next up is woodwork and tiling! It will be at least a couple of weeks yet before we are finished but hopefully the kitchen will be usable again in about a week once we put the sink in and actually have water downstairs! I will keep you updated on our progress and fingers crossed we will have a much nicer kitchen than the ugly, outdated one that we ripped out once we are done.
Fortunately I have some recipes that I made a while ago ready to share with you so I don't neglect the blog too much while I'm working on the kitchen. I've been itching to share this chocolate berry granola, which I think is the best way to eat chocolate for breakfast while still keeping it pretty healthy.
The granola is flavoured with cocoa powder for a chocolatey hit and is mixed with juicy dried berries and crunchy hazelnuts for sweetness and texture. The base is made with rolled oats and some mixed seeds and is bound together and sweetened with a little bit of coconut oil and some maple syrup, but it isn't hugely sweet, combined with the berries it has just the right level of sweetness I think.
The secret to making granola that forms big clusters rather than tiny crumbs is to mix in an egg white before you bake it; this helps it to clump together properly in nice, big, crunchy pieces. If you happen to prefer granola with a finer texture, or if you want to make it vegan, then you can just leave the egg white out; the granola will still be extremely tasty.
This granola is great eaten for breakfast with milk but is also good with yoghurt, stewed fruit, ice cream or just straight from the jar as a snack.
Chocolate Berry Granola
- 250 g (2 ½ cups) whole rolled oats
- 30 g (3 Tbsp) cocoa powder
- 50 g (5 Tbsp) mixed seeds (I used hemp, poppy and sunflower)
- 2 Tbsp cococnut oil
- 120 ml (½ cup) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1 large egg white
- 100 g (⅔ cup) hazelnuts
- 160 g (1 cup) dried berries (I used a mixture of cherries, blueberries, cranberries and flame raisins)
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Line a roasting tray with baking parchment.
- Place the oats, cocoa powder and seeds in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Place the coconut oil and maple syrup in a pan and heat gently until the oil has melted. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt then stir it into the oat mixture.
- Whisk the egg white with a balloon whisk until it is very frothy then mix it into the oat mixture.
- Spread it out on the prepared roasting tray in an even layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes until it is dry to the touch. About halfway through the baking time, use a spatula to carefully turn sections of the granola over so that it cooks evenly on both sides; try to break the pieces up as little as possible. If you like you can add the hazelnuts to the pan for the last five minutes of baking so that they get a little toasted.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan, it will crisp up further as it cools. Once cold, break the granola up into bite-sized pieces and stir in the dried berries. Store in an airtight container.
I originally made this chocolate berry granola for DIYs, check them out for some awesome craft and recipe ideas.