Home-made Agave and Cinnamon Granola with EVOO

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Breakfast is where the Italian Diet fails to impress nutritionists…It is true, in Italy we have a sweet tooth and most people favour a quick, sugar-loaded cookie or pastry dunked into their morning cappuccino to some healthier, more nourishing options. Although I don’t like to think I particularly subscribe to a health-fanatic movement, I have ditched the morning cornetto and I have learned to like savory combinations such as poached eggs with wilted spinach, smoked salmon and baby capers or avocados and roasted tomatoes on toast. Sometimes though, when only something sweet will do to wake you and get the day started, a light sprinkle of home-made, agave and juice-sweetened crunchy granola, over a soft dollop of Greek Yogurt and a scattering of ripe and succulent berries will do the job, without impacting of my waistline!

INGREDIENTS

400 gr (6 cups) of rolled oats

1 cup of mixed seeds and nuts, such as pepitas, linseed, almonds, pine nuts and sunflower seeds (or any you prefer)

1/3 cup of shredded coconut

180 ml (2/3 cup) of apple juice

4 tablespoons of  agave syrup (or honey)

6 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (you can use a lighter scented oil such as olive or vegetable oil, if you prefer)

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

generous dusting of  ground cinnamon

3/4 cup of chopped dried fruit such as figs, apricots or whatever suits you best

1/2 cup of goji berries

HOW TO

1. In a large bowl mix together oats, nuts, coconut and seeds.

2. Coat the oat and nut mix with apple juice, EVOO, ginger  and a generous dusting of ground cinnamon. You can really afford to be heavy-handed with this most delightful spice as some of its warm aroma will dissipate in your oven.

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3. Line an oven tray with baking paper, spread the mix onto it and flatten it with the back of a spoon of with a spatula.

4. Bake in a moderate oven (180 Celsius, 350 Farenheit) for around 40-45 minutes, mixing two o three times during baking to encourage even toasting and crunching up. When they granola looks golden brown and crisp, tun the oven off, leave the over door ajar and cool in the oven for 10 minutes to get rid of any moisture. Take the tray out of the oven, add the dried fruit and a little more cinnamon. Cool down in the tray at room temperature then store in an air-tight container and enjoy for breakfast with thick Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit or sprinkled over ice-cream, or simply as it is. It’s a protein-packed, low-carb snack that will satisfy your craving for sweet treats in a heathy and nutritious way.

Win-Win!

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Note

To liven up an old batch of granola that has lost its crispness after  a few weeks in the cupboard, simply lay it onto an oven tray lined with baking paper and toast in a medium oven for 15 minutes. dust liberally with cinnamon and allow to cool before storing it again.

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