Banana Coconut Granola

I must admit that when I make a batch of granola I find myself having to dig really deep for some sort of restraint because I could nibble on it All. Day. Long.  In fact I had some this morning for breakfast…and then a handful 2 hours later…oh, and I might have grabbed a little more to gnaw on while I was sipping tea…  ok fine, I’m eating some right now! Aaaaaaaaaaah! Will someone please take this stuff away from me?!!!

Let’s move onto the recipe.

(Just so that we are clear- I wouldn’t exactly call this granola ‘healthy’. The high percentage of fat in the coconut and nuts, as well as the sugar in the banana and honey make it rather high-calorie, so you may want to go easy (says me!!!).

Banana Coconut Granola

Ingredients

6 cups of rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)

1 cup of pecan nuts

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of desiccated coconut

1 cup of coconut shards

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

1/2 cup of honey

¼ cup of oil

1 banana, mashed

½ cup of coconut milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup of dried  banana chips

½ cup of cranberries or raisins.

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Combine the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, desiccated coconut and salt in a large bowl. Melt the honey in a saucepan and add the coconut milk, oil, vanilla and mashed banana. Pour the wet mixture into the oats making sure that everything is coated. Spread onto a large baking tray and bake for 45mins to an hour, checking every 20 mins and loosening the ‘clusters’. While the granola is baking, toast the nuts and coconut shards in a pan on the stove-top.

Once the granola is cooked and crunchy and has cooled slightly, add the nuts, coconut shards and cranberries. Mix it all up and tuck in store in an airtight container.

xxx


Carob Snack Bars for Madiba Monday

First of all, Happy Birthday Madiba! I actually cannot believe that he is 93 years old today. It felt like last year when he was celebrating his 80th! Time sure does fly…

Onto somewhat less important stuff- Like energy snack bars:)

I don’t know about you but I love to snack throughout the day to keep my energy levels up and my blood sugar regulated.  Some people see snacking as a terrible thing, but  if you choose the right foods, your metabolism will benefit and you’ll  prevent any sugar-crash-related grumpiness.

Now, before I go any further- you should probably know that I love chocolate! But the funny thing is that I will never go into a store and buy a bar of chocolate and spend the next five minutes chomping it. I keep a slab or two of good quality dark chocolate in my fridge and when the craving hits, I will snap off a piece and in no time the craving for sugar will have vanished. Sometimes though, during a busy week, or when I’m feeling pap and just need some comfort, I might have, well, let’s just say…a bigger  portion of the slab.

For those of you who have never heard of carob- it comes from a Mediterranean evergreen tree called, surprise surprise, the carob tree! The tree produces pods and it is from these pods that the actual carob powder is made. The important thing to note-if you’re curious, is that carob is naturally sweeter than chocolate and although it contains more carbohydrates, it has less fat and protein. The fact that chocolate is naturally bitter, means that we add loads of sugar to sweeten the taste and this is where the teeth-rotting evil lies.

So! having explained all that, let’s get in the kitchen.

These snack bars are so easy to make and you can wrap them up individually, keep them in the fridge and grab one or two before you head out the door. Convenience. What’s not to like? Oh and my favourite part? They contain Peanut Butter!!

Carob peanut butter oat bars

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup carob powder

3/4 cup natural peanut butter, creamy and salted

1/4 cup honey ½ cup soy milk (or cows milk)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease a 7×11 baking pan. Mix the oats ground almonds in a medium bowl and set aside. In a pot, whisk together the honey, soy milk and carob powder over med-low heat. Whisk constantly until steamy. Add the peanut butter and whisk until peanut butter is warmed and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the oats. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides with a spatula and cut into bars soon after removing from oven.

xxx