Having been grain-free for a number of years, I can honestly tell you that it gets easier, hand on heart…In the beginning it was so hard to break the addiction of reaching for a box of cereal, dumping a huge amount into a bowl and topping it up with milk (fat-free I must add, because I thought it was healthy).
Let me take a step back, to the shopping for said cereal, where I would stand and read the boxes for what I perceived to be the healthiest, little did I know it came down to how well marketed the box was. As you may be able tell, I harbour loads of bitterness and disappointment at the “big food” industry and all their lying to us (especially mothers), at tricking us into thinking that because a cereal is fortified with vitamins and minerals it is healthy, and that chocolate flavouring is going to give our children bucket loads energy to perform at their optimum during the day, making them into Olympic gymnasts by the age of 16.
The reality is that it boils down to just eating real food, knowing exactly what is going into both you and your family, and taking control back from the marketing and big food giants. That starts at home, right in your own kitchen. If someone told me a few years that I would be making my own cereal, I would have laughed at them. Now, I make it and guess what? It is so easy and yes cheaper! I am in control of exactly how much sugar, and flavouring is used, which nuts, seeds and berries have been sprinkled over and the best part is, how tough it is on the old teeth.
Huh? Teeth, yeah well, between years of bracers (we are onto our third set in the family) and frankly hubby and myself just getting older, hard crunchy granola is pretty tough going. Bring in my home-made cereal, designed by “moi” for those who like a crunchy, roasted, tasty, yet leave your teeth (and your bracers) where they belong, kind of granola. In a nutshell, I have designed this granola to be easy and gentle on the old pegs. You can ramp it up a few notches and add some big chunky nuts, a few brazil, pecans or almond slivers would be great, if that is what you prefer.
This cereal, besides being free of processed junk and nasty preservatives, contains cinnamon which has amazing health and properties. Check out this link to one of my favourite websites Well-Being Secrets for 30 science backed facts on this incredibly versatile and healthy spice.
I start by heating a medium sized pot on the stove, melting coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg together
Once it starts to bubble (and smells gorgeous)
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining dry ingredients
Using the back of the wooden spoon, press the wet mixture until compact and firm, don’t stress too much about the edges, they just end up becoming delicious roasted pieces, them pop into a preheated oven of 15 min
(excuse the different colours in the photo’s as they were taken a little later)
Remove the baked tray from the oven and leave to cool and harden for about 10 min, using a fork, gently break up the middle sections into chunks. You’ll know the size you want…Gently turn the chucks so that the underside is exposed
Return the tray back to the oven, keeping a very close eye on it whilst it is the oven, but it should take about another 10-15 min to toast (again, keep watching, it goes from roasted to charred very quickly)
Remove from the oven and leave to cool, bottle in a funky mason jar with a rubber seal and sit back and watch how you family devour it for breakfast, and well pretty much any time of day…
Case in point, even whilst I was trying to photograph, this little hand appeared to steal a pumpkin seed….Another great tip, it makes your house smell glorious, so if you are trying to sell your home, bake it before an open day, this smell will sell anything, pinky promise!
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup/raw honey
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (optional, but does add a great flavour)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp psyllium husk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 chopped hazelnuts (or a chunkier nut if you prefer)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC
- Heat a medium sized pot on the stove, then add the coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and stir until it all starts to bubble and the spices start to release, smelling delicious.
- Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- On a lined baking tray, transfer the mixture and press it reasonably firmly with the back of a wooden spoon to make it firm and compact (don't smack it, just press gently)
- Bake for 15min
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool and harden for about 10-15min
- Using a fork, gently lift it from underneath, breaking it up into chunks (you determine the size) and ever so gently mix it up so the underside is now facing upwards.
- Pop the tray back into the oven and bake for another 10-15 min - KEEP WATCHING IT
- Due to different ovens, I have not given exact baking times, but just keep and eye on it at all times, it can burn so easily if one gets sidetracked