All the Christmas partying, rich food, sugary and alcoholic drinks and television watching can take it's toll on our health, energy and now we feel about ourselves. However, a plain breakfast just doesn't seem to cut it for me on Christmas morning.
Last year I made my own festive granola and it really hit the spot. It was great with cold milk, warm milk, yoghurt and fruit and even just to nibble on as a wee snack. The original recipe include 100g brown sugar but I exclude that as I think there's plenty of sugar in all other food at Christmas that it's surplus to requirements. It's packed with fantastic nutrients and very little processed ingredients so makes for a special yet healthier start to the festivities.
If you've not made granola before, there's not a lot to it and you can mix and match the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices as you like. It keeps well in an airtight jar or container for about a week but it didn't last that long in our house.
90g seeds (I use mixed seeds)
3 tsp mixed spice
150g maple syrup
300g chopped nuts (I use a mix but you can't beat pecans, brazils & cashews)
750g dried mixed fruit (Use whichever dried fruit you like. I use a traditional mix similar to what you'd have in Christmas cake plus some cranberries)
100g desiccated coconut
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl except for the fruit and coconut then spread the mixture across a few nonstick baking trays. I line mine with great proof paper.
Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven (180 degrees conventional or 160 degrees fan) then give the trays a shake and turn them round before baking for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Combine the fruit and coconut in a separate bowl then mix with the cooled baked granola before sealing in the jar or container.
As with most homemade foods, this also makes a lovely gift if stored in a nice jar and tied with ribbon.