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 myself 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!
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)
125 ml (1/2 cup) of apple juice
4 tablespoons of agave syrup (or honey)
6 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (use a lighter scented oil such, 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
1. In a large bowl mix together oats and the nuts 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.
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. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and bake in a moderate oven (170 Celsius, 335 Farenheit) for around 25-30 minutes, the remove the top sheet of paper, mix and allow to finish toasting and crunching up ( around 15-20 minutes, according to your oven). Take the tray out of the oven, add the dried fruit and a little more cinnamon. Cool down in the tray to allow the moisture to evaporate. 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.
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.
- Homemade Granola: 3 Ways (abeautifulmess.com)
- Olive Oil Granola with Multigrain Cereals (nguyeningfinds.wordpress.com)
- Date-Sweetened Coconut Granola (eatwithchelsea.com)
- Schiacciata con Olio e Rosmarino (Italian Flat Bread with EVOO and Rosemary) (silviascucina.net)
- End the Strike Passover Granola (ancestreats.com)