Breakfast inspired by the ‘Crunchy Granola Mystery’

A healthy, tasty way to start the day.

Many years ago, in the days of Springbok Radio, I recall listening to a comedy insert on, I think, the Pip Friedman Show, one Saturday morning (yes, I know, I’m giving away my age), titled The Crunchy Granola Mystery. It was a laugh-a-minute tale of the theft of a substantial quantity of crunchy granola made from a secret recipe.

Whether or not the thieved granola was ever recovered, I do not recall, but in one of those peculiar time warp moments, I can still hear the announcement, in a classically “Sarf Efricen” accent, of the return to the story, after each ad break: “And now, back to the Crunchy Granola Mystery”

But what’s this got to do with anything, you might ask? Well, in search of a new breakfast experience that provided healthy variety, and didn’t consist of boring oats, dear sweet Elspeth and I started to make our own muesli, after paying an arm and a leg for the manufactured product, using gluten-free oats.

Besides ensuring that you know precisely what you are eating, making your own, means you can choose ingredients and proportions that suit your taste and budget.

Think oats, mixed nuts, raisins, sultanas, goji berries, cranberries, dried peach bits, coconut shavings, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and so the list goes on.

The ingredients vary quite widely in price, with the gluten free oats and goji berries being right up there, but the key determinant is variety and healthy, so no artificial flavourings or colouring, and you control how much salt or sweetening is added to the mix.

A few dessert spoons served with full cream plain yoghurt and some fresh fruit – half a sliced apple or sliced strawberries are among my favourites – makes for a tasty and super-healthy breakfast.

But it was when dear daughter Alexandra shared with us her recipe for crunchy granola that I heard an echo of, once more, “And now back to the Crunchy Granola Mystery” and we were able to take it to the next level.

What follows is our take on muesli with a crunchy granola base, but the ingredients are entirely up to you.

Ingredients, selection and preparation

2 cups large-flake rolled oats

1 cup mixed nuts

1 cup mixed seeds

1/2 cup coconut shavings

4 tablespoons coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons honey

Salt and cinnamon to taste

2 tbsp goji berries

1/4 cup sultanas

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup cranberries

1/4 cup finely chopped dried peach

Method

Mix oats, nuts, seeds and coconut shavings and spread evenly in a baking tray.

Heat coconut oil and honey gently until liquid, and pour over dry ingredients.

Mix well to coat.

Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon and mix again.

Bake in the oven at 150ºC, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes until the colour changes to golden brown and the granola begins to caramelise.

Be sure to not over-bake the granola, as it burns easily, and can become bitter and unappetising.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, stirring periodically.

Add the goji berries, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, and dried peach and mix well.

Store in an airtight container.

Serve two or three spoonfuls with plain, unsweetened yoghurt and chopped fresh fruit.