Coconut & mango granola

Coconut-mango-granola

There are endless granola recipes online so you’re probably thinking, or more likely yelling, “we don’t need another!” but this really is so good, I just have to share it. It’s tropical sunshine-in-a-bowl and provides the perfect antidote to the drab chilly weather outside, and who doesn’t need some of that right now? With spring torturously just out of reach and the need to eat healthy to stave off unwelcome bugs – a big bowl of wholesome granola for breakfast ticks all the right boxes.

I’m sure, like a lot of people, I find that during the winter I don’t eat as much fruit as during the berry-binge summer months so having granola with dried fruit is the perfect way to boost extra vitamins. Dried mango has a really intense flavour but it has a really chewy texture so cutting it up very small eases the labour intensive workout for the jaws. I wanted the mango to stand out on its own but you could add dried papaya, pineapple or banana for variety. The beauty of granola is its versatility, so feel free to substitute the dried fruit or nuts to your own tastes.

The health benefits of using Extra Virgin Coconut Oil are too numerous to mention here but let’s just say it’s damn good for you. Although it’s saturated fat, it converts to energy easily and actually stimulates your metabolism, so using both coconut oil and slow energy-release oats together is a very healthy combination. You can buy it online or in health food shops and can be used in other cooking, such as curries and stir-fries. I’ve used it here to add extra coconut flavour but use sunflower oil instead, if you want.

It’s so quick and easy to make and well worth shunning the expensive supermarket varieties for homemade. This recipe made with muscovado sugar and honey means it’s not completely virtuous but compared to sugar-laden cereals it’s positively radiating health and I eat granola practically every day without a burgeoning waste line. It keeps perfectly well for several weeks in a jar but it doesn’t last that long as I find myself like a naughty child with  my hand in the cookie jar, munching happily on large handfuls whenever I fancy a snack.

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
30g light brown muscovado sugar
100ml runny tbsp honey
200g jumbo rolled oats
100g dessicated coconut
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
20g sesame seeds
50g blanched almonds, chopped
Pinch sea salt
60g dried mango, finely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 150C / 325F / Gas mark 5.
  2. Put the coconut oil, sugar and honey in a frying pan over a low heat. Meanwhile, add all the other ingredients to a large bowl.
  3. When the coconut oil mixture has melted and the sugar dissolved stir and then add to the bowl with the dry ingredients, apart from the mango. Give it a good stir to combine.
  4. Using a large spoon, tip the mixture onto a baking tray and spread out evenly. Give it a stir half way through cooking to ensure even cooking. Check before the end to see how golden the oats are turning; turn the down if browning too quickly.
  5. Once the nuts and oats are golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Add the chopped mango and transfer to an air-tight container, trying not to nibble too much whilst doing it.
  6. Serve with lots of natural yogurt or milk for a delicious start to the day.

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