As a self-professed breakfast lover, I am no longer happy to eat something I quickly scramble together in the wee hours of the morning, or skip breakfast altogether. I am becoming a bit like Nigella that way, you know. Every breakfast matters.
This healthy cookie granola is one of the breakfasts I keep coming back to whenever I feel like having a sweetish breakfast or a snack. Eating this granola feels so indulgent, you will completely forget that it is, in fact, good for you.
So what kind of cookies is in this healthy cookie granola?
Mmm, well, none. I haven’t actually crushed any cookies into this granola! I’ve called this a cookie granola because, firstly, it sounds enticing (right?) and also, this is exactly what it tastes like. It’s like biting into a nutty, lightly spiced, crunchy and chunky cookie. And when this bakes, let me tell you – your whole house will smell unbelievably good!
I have used the speculaas spice mix in this granola. I love it and I use it in everything – in muffins, my overnight oats, donuts, pancakes, cheesecake base, you name it. Depending on where you live, you might be able to buy it but if you can’t, it’s easy to make it. Trust me, it will come in handy for a lot of things. You can find the recipe here.
How do you make the chunks in this healthy cookie granola?
This is actually really easy. The hazelnut meal and the maple syrup bind together and make all the other ingredients stick beautifully. There’s no magic to it, although you can certainly help this process along.
The easiest way to get lovely chunks is to press the mixture into the baking pan, bake it over the whole baking time without mixing, and then take it out and let it cool down in the pan. When cooled, slowly pull off granola chunks (as big as you want, I like a mixture of smaller ones and larger ones, though they will further break when you’re pouring the granola into your bowl in the morning, or mixing your yoghurt in) and place them into your granola storage container. The chunks will be lovely and crunchy but not super dry or hard (just how I like it). This way, you can eat them straight away after pouring your milk on in the morning – no waiting for your milk to soften the granola up like you have to with a store-bought granola. This is how I make my granola most often.
Another way, if you like even crunchier chunks, is to gently break up the baking mixture near the end of the baking time (I suggest 10 minutes before in the recipe below). This allows the chunks to bake a little more all around and they come out a little drier and crispier. Also very very nice.
How do you like to serve this granola?
Let me tell you the ways!
- Like with any granola, you can simply pour some milk over this healthy cookie granola for a quick breakfast. Cow milk is great, and so is any plant based milk if you’re dairy free.
- You can also mix in some yoghurt. I love some good sugar free Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt to go with this.
- You can also use this granola in your baking – your favourite cookies, muffins or cakes.
- Finally, I love using this granola in a snack jar with some yoghurt, homemade jam and fruit (see below). This recipe is coming up next week. So easy and delicious, I have my kids hooked!
I hope you will give this a try and enjoy homemade granola as much as I do. I haven’t bought granola in over a year now, relying on batches of homemade granola like this one or this one. They are so easy to make and I love that you can make it exactly how you like it. No more cardboard-like-tasting granola which takes forever to soften to become edible, no more added refined sugar or additives like antioxidants, no more hard pieces of sultanas or other fruit that hurt your teeth. And I keep exploring as the options are endless and you never know what combo you will find that you absolutely fall in love with!
Healthy cookie granola
- 3 cups nuts (I like a mix of macadamias, pecans, walnuts, cashews and/or hazelnuts; it varies every time)
- 1 cup oats (not quick cooking oats)
- 1 cup puffed rice or quinoa
- 1 cup hazelnut meal
- 1 heaped tsp speculaas spices (or substitute cinnamon)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the nuts into a large ziploc bag, squeezing the air out as you're closing it. Bash them with a wooden mallet or a rolling pin until you get a mixture of smallish and largish pieces. Place them into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients (except for maple syrup) into the bowl and mix until combined.
- Pour the maple syrup into the bowl and stir well, until all the mixture is wet (until the maple syrup has been distributed well through the mixture).
- Pour the mixture into the lined baking tray, press well into the tray (this is important as it will help you create those lovely chunks) and bake for 30 minutes until your house smells divine.
- Read above for the different ways to create chunks in your granola – (1) either leave the pressed mixture baking as is for the whole baking time, then take out of the oven and let cool in one piece. Once cool, break into pieces and store in a granola storage box. This will create softer but still crispy chunks (as pictured). This is the method I use most often.
- Or, (2) if you're after even crispier and crunchier chunks, gently disturb the baking mixture 10 minutes before the end of the baking time (that is, after 20 minutes) and allow the chunks which you have so created to be baked from a different side/sides. When you pull the tray out of the oven, again let the mixture cool down first before transferring into a storage box.
- This granola should keep for a few weeks.
This makes quite a lot of granola (I would estimate maybe enough for 10 to 12 breakfasts, depending on how much you like to eat in the morning). It is easily halved if you prefer to make less.