Two Tone Granola by Bridget Harney

This Two Tone Granola Recipe is a healthy and easy way to brighten up breakfast time. With the promise of spring in the budding trees and daffodils, I want to abandon my warm comforting porridge and instead enjoy crunchy granola with fruit. Maing granola requires very little effort, although you do need to hang around in the kitchen for an hour for the process to be complete.This is no real hardship as the kitchen will smell fantastic. A little mixing and stirring is all that it takes, and this recipe is cheaper and healthier than most shop bought varieties.

This recipe gives two variations on a base mix. You can vary it any way that you wish, or just ma one variety. the quantities can easily be halved or doubled. Some of us like more nuts or more fruit in our granola, and this recipe lets you choose and modify it to suit your tastes.

I like the combinations that I have suggested here as I like a balance between bitter and sweet, nutty and fruity. The cocoa and coconut are really delicious together. I have never been crazy about raisins but love dried cranberries and more exotic fruits like mango. A little bit of cinnamon really sets off all the flavours and you can taste every individual ingredient. Having the two types of granola together, not only looks lovely, but gives real variety to your bowl of goodness. I use apple juice to moisten and sweeten but have used other juices such as pomegranate in the past. If you use unconcentrated juices or freshly squeezed, it reduces the sugar even further.

This recipe is a perfect antidote to the chocolate excesses of Easter, without losing out on that little caffeine hit. Granola is a great place to start if you haven’t baked before, or just if you want to try something new!

Ingredients

Basic dry mix

– 500 grams of rolled porridge oats

– 150 grams of flaked almonds

– 150 grams of sesame seeds

Wet mix

– 350 ml of apple juice

– 100 grams of coconut oil (or a flavourless oil or even butter)

– 125 ml of honey

– 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Cocoa coconut mix

– 100 grams of desiccated coconut

– 100 grams of dried cranberries or other dried fruit

– 2 tablespoons of cocoa

Hazelnut mix

– 100 grams of chopped hazelnuts

– 100 grams dried apricots or mangos

Method

– Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius.

– Put all the ingredients for the wet mix in a saucepan. Heat gently over a low heat until the coconut oil dissolves.

– Mix the basic dry mix in a large bowl. Pour in the wet mix and stir well.

– Divide the mix into two bowls. Add the cocoa coconut ingredients to one bowl and the hazelnut mix to the other. Mix both bowls well.

– Spread the mixes onto two baking trays to bake. Place them both in the oven for about 45 mins. Mix once or twice during this time. I find the cocoa coconut cooks quicker so take it out after 45 minutes. Turn the heat up to 180 degrees celcius and allow the hazelnut mix to bake for another 15 minutes. The mixes should feel pretty dry and smell of toasted nuts.

– Allow to cool, then mix together and serve with yogurt and fruit or milk. It keeps well for 2 – 4 weeks in an airtight container stored in a cool place.

 

DSC_0371Bridget Harney

I have baked for as long as I can remember. I grew up on an organic farm in County Wicklow and Maura Laverty’s ‘Full and Plenty’ was my guide in developing the basic skills and knowledge around food. It was this manual and my surroundings that nurtured an interest in local foods and a desire to use familiar ingredients in a creative way.

I work as an Occupational Therapist in the Mental Health services and have always valued the relaxation and pleasure that baking can bring. Since competing in the Great Irish bake Off 2013, I have had new opportunities to bake for a café and write my blog, The Search for Delicious. Baking is still an important part of my personal life, but since doing the show I have a great opportunity to share my recipes and food with people outside my circle of friends and family. I hope to develop recipes that are familiar but different, comfortable but still exciting, and am always delighted when someone tries one of my recipes

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