I am not entirely sure how, but breakfast seems to confuse my kids. Lunch and dinner both come with a pudding, but breakfast does not. I understand their logic, but they completely fail to understand that this just isn’t normal! Their constant requests for pudding after their cereal has led to a two-tiered breakfast system with toast or fruit following their initial bowl of cereal. The only way we can even contemplate forgoing breakfast pudding is if the breakfast is special enough to not require it. In the kids’ eyes, this generally means pancakes and there are not many mornings that I have the inclination to be sorting out pancakes even if I have been able to make the batter in advance. The other breakfast fare that seems to fit the bill is homemade granola.
We make granola quite frequently and the kids will happily gobble it up and it does seem to fill them. Unsurprisingly, their all-time favourite type of granola is chocolate granola. Over the years, I have learnt that some granola recipes are so full of sugar that they could practically be a pudding themselves so we have adapted and reduced the amount of sugar for this recipe. You can add whatever dried fruits or nuts to this that you like. On this occasion, we added flaked almonds and dried apricots which both went really well with the chocolate. We tend to measure this recipe in cups as it is easier for the kids to scoop oats the oats and cocoa that way.
To make our chocolate granola you will need:
- 4 cups of oats
- 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or runny honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups of additions (we used half flaked almonds and half dried apricots)
- Preheat the oven to 160° fan and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or baking parchment.
- Mix the oats, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
- Put the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a jug and mix to combine.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well to ensure that all the oats are coated.
- Divide the mixture between the two baking trays, ensuring each has a thin layer of the granola.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes turning the granola half way through. Keep a close eye on it as it can easily burn.
- Once cooled, put into a large bowl and put in your additions, mix with a wooden spoon and store in an airtight container.
This recipe was published in Penguin News on 15 May 2020.