What is your favourite meal of the day?
For me it’s breakfast, It’s simple, satisfying and accompanied by a coffee. I can happily eat the same thing for days on end. Which usually either includes an egg or a bowl with yoghurt/oats/fruit/nuts, in no particular order. My daughter would probably choose spaghetti, so we still have some work to do there 🙂
The difficult thing about breakfast is usually this: You have to get out of bed first. The only way to make this easier is to treat yourself as soon as the day begins.
Let me present: Peanut Butter Granola.
I made a batch yesterday and I swear, when my alarm clock rang this morning, it was the first thing on my mind. In a good way. People, I jumped out of bed like my kids on Christmas Day!
My Peanut Butter Granola is probably one of the most virtuous breakfast “cereals” I have ever made. It is sugar free, grain free, gluten free, corn free… and, unlike most things that come out of a cereal box, preservative free and additive free! Frankly, it is the power of goodness on a plate: Nuts, seeds and coconut, spiced with cinnamon and a generous dollop of peanut butter.
- sprinkle it over yoghurt
- eat it with fruit
- add it to your porridge
- combine it with your cereal of choice
- try it as a topping for apple sauce, to which it lends a lovely crunch.
Now that I think of it, it would also make a nice weekday dessert – how about a peanut butter granola apple crumble?
This granola really is worlds apart from my cereal passion of younger years – Cinnamon Grahams by Nestle (now sold as Curiously Cinnamon – I have been around a while). l used to think these little squares with their cinnamon swirl were just irresistible, especially with some ice-cold milk. You did have to eat them quickly to prevent the milk going too sweet, which should have been a hint, but they were so cinnamoney, so crunchy…
But now let’s take al look at the ingredients – which list not one, but four different kinds of sugar: Grains (53.6%) (Whole Grain Wheat Flour (32.5%), Rice Flour (21.1%)), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Palm Oil, Maize Starch, Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Salt, Cinnamon, Trisodium Phosphate, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin, Colours: Caramel and Annatto, Flavouring, Antioxidant: Tocopherols, Vitamins and Minerals: Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamins B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Calcium Carbonate and Iron.
Every 100 grams of Curiously Cinnamon contains a whopping 24.8g of sugar – and every 30g portion with milk 13.3 g. If anything, this cereal is a dessert full of nasties.
As you can tell I do enjoy a bit of breakfast cereal-bashing. Cereals have basically been turned into sugary fast food with some token vitamins thrown in. Once you start checking the labels and discover the sugar levels, the marketing talk of getting the best start to the day sounds rather ludicrous. On top of that, most breakfast cereals have been so processed they have little in common with the original grain.
The cereals I buy for the family today generally contain just one ingredient – such as oats, shredded wheat, puffed buckwheat or spelt. All work fab mixed with the Peanut Butter Granola.
If you like, you can add a cup of oat bran to to your granola mix before baking and rub it in really well. This coats especially the bigger nut pieces and makes the granola even crunchier. If you prefer to keep your options open, just add your cereal of choice as and when.
Or do it like me – I eat it just on its own.
- 100g coconut flakes
- 100g almond pieces
- 100g walnut pieces
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 50g linseeds or flaxseeds
- 1tsp cinnamon (or more)
- 4 heaped tbsp peanut butter
- 1 cup oat bran (optional)
- 1 tsp Stevia or sweetener of your choice (optional, I don't use any)
- Briefly pulse your nuts in the food processor if using whole nuts
- Rub in the peanut butter (plus oat bran if using) and add your cinnamon. Mixed spice would work well too!
- Spread the mix evenly on a baking sheet. You might need to do two batches
- Bake at 180C for up to 20 minutes
- This mixture burns easily, especially the coconut flakes, so keep an eye on it and turn it with a spoon every few minutes
- When golden (I like to make mine quite dark; the darker it is, the crunchier it is), remove and cool immediately to get it crispy.
- Filled into an airtight jar, this mix will keep in your cupboard for a couple of weeks.
I could imagine it would also taste good with cardamom or some cocoa powder for the chocolate lovers amongst you. Maybe throw in some cacao nibs as well?
I used slightly salted peanut butter, which made it taste great. Just make sure your peanut butter does not contain any extra sugar