Two tone granola is my favourite granola recipe. I feel a little like I need to defend my choices because granola recipes and preferences vary so much (so please excuse me if my tone seems somewhat combative!). For me, this is everything granola should be. It’s crumbly, oaty, fruity and nutty. It has hints of sweetness that comes from the fruit. The basic premise of this recipe that you make a base mix, split it, add different things to both halves and bake them separately. Then you can serve them together or separately. The variety of the two mixes means that it doesn’t get monotonous, either because of combining them in a bowl or because you can eat a different one every morning! With yogurt , berries and maybe a squidge of honey, this is a totally delicious breakfast or snack.
One half of this mix is dickied up with cocoa, coconut and a dried cranberries. The cocoa adds a bitterness that I love, and also emphasises the sweetness of the cranberries. I use apple juice to moisten the mix because it adds a gentle hint of sweetness. For some people this might not be enough sugar, but when you pair the two mixes, the mix without the cocoa tastes so much sweeter in contrast. I love that I can essentially have chocolate in the morning with all it’s health benefits and none of it’s vices. The cocoa is also what gives this recipe a slightly darker colour so that it contrasts so nicely in colour with the second mix.
The second mix has the sweet nuttiness of hazelnuts and the tropical lift of dried mango. The cinnamon works with both mixes, but it’s more prominent alongside the hazelnuts. The recipe can be varied as you wish, but this is definitely the way that I like it. So many granolas that are sold are full of sugar and artificial tasting fruit. Done this way, the dried fruit really plumps up with the moisture of the apple juice although it’s important to be cautious not to burn them in the oven as they can catch easily. I use coconut oil which also makes this dairy free. If you leave out the honey, it’s vegan and so long as you use gluten free oats, that’s your coeliac friends catered for too. (Make sure you check all the packets though, some dried products can contain traces of gluten).
Making 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 you’ll have a wonderful sense of virtue as you start your day.
Basic dry mix
500 grams of rolled porridge oats
150 grams of flaked almonds
150 grams of sesame seeds
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
100 grams of chopped hazelnuts
100 grams dried apricots or mangos
- 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 kept in a cool place.
If you’re looking for a luxurious breakfast option, try these chocolate filled buttermilk pancakes.