• Emma Rushe

Homemade cocoa-crunch granola

Most of us love granola, but few of us make our own – but we should because it’s so simple and allows us to control the amount of sweetener and other ingredients that go into it.

To prevent blood sugar swings, this recipe uses a smaller amount of natural sweetener per portion than shop-bought brands, and also avoids dried fruit, which can really ramp up the sugar content.

Instead, try adding cocoa nibs for an indulgent chocolate flavour without any of the sugar. The added cinnamon also helps to keep blood sugar in check, because it has been found to improve our insulin sensitivity, meaning we respond more efficiently to the insulin we produce after eating carbohydrates.

Try serving it with plain yoghurt or your milk of choice, plus some fresh berries or sliced banana. This recipe can easily be made in bulk, so you can enjoy it for a few weeks before making it again.

Ingredients – makes two servings

1 heaped tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp maple syrup or raw honey

60g rolled oats (gluten free if needed)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp ground almonds

1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts

1 tbsp chopped cashew nuts

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp cocoa nibs

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a gentle heat, and then add your sweetener of choice. Stir in the oats, cinnamon, nuts and seeds until well combined. Spread the mixture out over a lined baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden – keep an eye on it so the nuts don’t burn. Allow the granola to cool, then stir through the cacao nibs, and enjoy with milk or yoghurt of choice and some fresh fruit. Keeps in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

For a super-speedy version when you want instant gratification, after adding the oats to the oil and sweetener, allow them to cook for 3 minutes or until they start to go golden and crisp up slightly. Then add the ground almonds, nuts and seeds, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Variation: you can use buckwheat flakes, or add other nuts and seeds such as flaked almonds, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts or pumpkin seeds.