I have always been a breakfast person. I can very happily have a nice, large meal for breakfast, and I attribute this love for breakfast to my grandmother. King-size breakfast spreads were her specialty. Summer vacation in her house in Kerala meant waking up to a feast every morning. Steaming hot rice cakes, gram curry, steamed plantain on one day, idlis or dosas and sambar on another. Like most things in life, I took these for granted back then and sorely miss them now.
Breakfasts most mornings at my house are hardly of the three-course variety of my childhood. The cold months are my excuse to dig deeper into the duvet and lie in bed, hitting the snooze button on the alarm multiple times, until I grudgingly wake up, reminding myself of one three year old who needs to head to pre-school and one husband who needs to hit the ground running. My grandmother, who raised six children, managed the family plantations and cattle, and managed to churn out warm meals round the clock, without electricity or gas for a major part of her life, would have certainly disapproved.
And so, our breakfasts on weekdays tend to be quick and easy. Over time, we have settled into a nice routine. I usually make eggs, or granola or banana-whole-wheat pancakes. Occasionally we have a hearty and filling bircher muesli (made overnight) or idlis (steamed rice cakes). I am all for predictable patterns when it comes to weekday breakfasts, because my weekends are when I like to go all out with breakfast.
So after going through several store-bought granola brands, I attempted to make some at home, because, not only is it way cheaper and healthier, granola is also a breeze to make. And home-made granola is so easy to customize. Just mix your preferred variety of each of: oats, dried fruit, sweetener and nuts, roast this mixture lightly in the oven and that's it!
I opted to use spelt oats because it is more nutritionally dense than whole wheat oats, and goji berries due to their high antioxidant content. Any combination of nuts and oats works well, but ensure that you don't have an allergic reaction if you are trying out something new.
This makes the perfect nutritional breakfast for those who have rushed mornings. My toddler loves his granola parfait style, with Greek yogurt topped with berries and honey.
Home Made Granola With Goji Berries and Spelt Oats
- Organic Rolled Spelt Flakes - 3 cups
- Sunflower Seeds 1/2 cup
- Organic Coconut Oil 2 tsp
- Goji Berries - 1 cup
- Almonds 1/2 cup
- Pecans 1/2 cup
- Chia seeds 1/4 cup
- Maple syrup 1/2 cup
- Honey 1/2 cup
- Cinnamon powder 1.5 tsp
- Mix the oats with the sunflower seeds
- Add the coconut oil and mix, making sure the oil is evenly distributed
- Take a baking sheet and brush it with some oil
- Turn out the oats mixture into the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 180 C (350 F), turning the mixture over at the 10 minute mark
- Take out the baking sheet, add the goji berries, almonds, pecans, chia seeds, maple syrup and honey and cinnamon powder and mix this well.
- Make sure the honey and maple syrup is well combined with the oats-and- seeds mixture
- Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes at 150 C
- Let cool and transfer to an air-tight jar
You can use any combination of oats, nuts, seeds or dry fruits in a ratio of 3:1:1
Do no use instant oats, as these don't hold up as well as rolled oats
Additional options for ingredients are: pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, raisins, apricots (look for sulphur-free ones), cranberries and just about anything you like!