I have a lot of dried fruit leftover from Christmas. I made homemade Christmas puddings and my cupboards are now overflowing with figs, raisins, dates and apricots.
We all know I have had a complicated relationship with dried fruit in the past. If you've followed me from the start of my blogging journey you'll know that when I started I was adhering to a strict 'yeast free' diet which included cutting out all dried fruit. It's something that I Quit Sugar queen Sarah Wilson also advocates and put the fear factor into me about dried fruit.
I've come a long way since those beginnings and I know now that banning food groups and demonising anything in the world of nutrition really isn't helpful mentally. Food is just food, there's no 'good' or 'bad'. There's no reason I can't eat dried fruit - but like anything else, it should be eaten in moderation.
So I wanted to embrace this 'banned' substance on the blog and include it in a recipe. The reason that people might tell you to cut down or cut out dried fruit is because its quite high in sugar. And this does mean to me now the recipe seems quite sweet. But I think it's a delicious little crunchy topping for yoghurt, sprinkled on a smoothie bowl or served with some milk and fresh fruit. You don't need much but it will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.
The other thing is, like so many of my recipes, it can be modified to use whatever you have. I created this using what was in the cupboards leftover from those Christmas puddings - but you could add any chopped dried fruit or nuts. The variations are endless, and you could also try out different spice combinations too.
Play with it! And use this as a base and just one example of how to make your own granola.
SERVES: Makes 6-8 small portions
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
- 60g puffed rice
- 80g oats
- 40g goji berries
- 20g chopped hazelnuts
- 30g raisins
- 60g dried figs chopped)
- 60g dried apricots (chopped)
- 15g seed mix
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350 ℉.
2. Put the puffed rice, oats, nuts and seed mix into a large bowl and stir together so the ingredients are well covered with the coconut oil, honey, vanilla essence and cinnamon.
3. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and make sure it's evenly spread so as much as possible as in contact with the baking sheet to cook it through.
4. Put into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the fruit, stirring through to combine. Put back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in a air-tight container; it should last for a couple of months or more.
6. Serve with milk, yoghurt, fresh fruit or sprinkled on smoothie bowls.