Saturday 23 March 2013

Date and Nut Granola

At a recent Health for Life Club meeting in Llandudno, I asked everyone to eat something they wouldn't normally eat or make something they wouldn’t normally make so we could share our experiences at the next meeting.  The idea was to break out of our normal eating habits and be more creative and adventurous!  

As we were discussing the hidden ingredients in processed foods that day, I decided to make something I'd normally buy as a ready made product. The obvious choice was granola, something I love to eat for breakfast as a cereal or with fruit and natural soya yogurt. I'd made some granola years ago which was okay but I knew I had to come up with something so appetising, I wouldn't be tempted to go back to buying it again!

Granola is traditionally made with oats, nuts and dried fruit and often contains high levels of sugar and honey too.  I found adding extra fruit, such as mashed banana, cooked apple or softened dates, to the oat mixture before baking to a crisp in the oven gave the best results.  Four varieties emerged which I took along to our meeting - Tropical Banana, Apple and Mango, Cranberry and Apricot and Date and Nut. 

Here's the recipe for my Date and Nut Granola which got the vote from our discerning Health for Life Club tasters!   I hope you like it too.   It's great just as it is or with sliced banana, pear or apple, blueberries, raisins or apricotsAdd your favourite soya milk or yogurt or use it as a crunchy topping as I've done below The choice is endless so why not be adventurous, create your own variation and make it healthy and delicious!  


100g dates
100ml cold water
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp date syrup/maple/agave
200g  jumbo whole rolled oats
100g nuts (e.g. cashews, pecans, almonds, brazil nuts)
40g pumpkin or sunflower seeds    


Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3.

First, chop or cut up the dates with scissors and place in a small saucepan.  Add the water and bring to the boil.  As the mixture bubbles away for a minute or so,  press the dates with the back of a tablespoon until you have a soft puree. (Alternatively, this can be done in the microwave)

Mix together the oil and syrup in a medium sized bowl.

 Stir in the date puree and all the other ingredients. 

Spread out the mixture on a large baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes, stirring the mixture half way through.      After 20 minutes, stir again and lower the oven temperature to 150C/130C fan/Gas Mark 2.

Bake for another 20 minutes, again stirring halfway. By this time, the mixture should be crisp and golden but, if not, give it another 5 - 10 minutes.   

Leave to cool on the tray, then store in an airtight container.  I like to keep mine in a tall glass jar ready for breakfast and as a crunchy topping with fruit and natural yogurt.

Place any fresh or cooked fruit, such as pears, apples, apricots, plums or blueberries,  in the bottom of a glass dish.  

Spoon over a couple of tablespoons of natural soya yogurt and top with granola.

Making your own granola is easy and tastes so much better than bought.  Why not have a go and let me know how you get on!



  1. Mmmmmm....this recipe is delicious!! It didn't last long we all enjoyed munching on it as a snack throughout the day! We didn't have Jumbo oats so just used ordinary ones. We found the secret to its success was to regularly stir the mixture while it was roasting. Thanks Rhona for sharing this. X

  2. So pleased you liked it Louise! Yes the stirring is really important to get an even colour and bake. I put my timer on at ten minute intervals just in case I go away and forget it!