If you’re looking to start your day off the right way and fill yourself with enough energy to get you to lunch, you can’t go far wrong with a bowl of homemade protein granola. Nutritious and filling, it has an advantage over shop-bought alternatives thanks to being able to control the added sugar it contains, and of course, which protein flavour you’d like to enhance the deliciousness.
Here we ask plant-based recipe developer, Ana Lopez, for their top tips on making homemade protein granola, including some killer granola flavour combinations to try and a tasty sugar-free granola recipe.
Perfecting Your Protein Granola
The main elements in a good granola are your base, a sweetener, nuts or seeds, and then finally, dried fruits.
For the base, my top recommendation would be to use jumbo oats. Porridge oats unfortunately are not that great for granola, but they can be added as a little extra to help you create some clusters. A pro tip when thinking about your oats is to add about 1/4 cup of porridge oats for every 2 cups of jumbo oats to create beautiful, moreish clusters.
You can always swap your base for buckwheat groats (buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant — they have quite a mild taste) or gluten-free oats for a GF-friendly granola.
For some much-needed sweetness, you can sweeten your granola with many different things. You can use honey or maple syrup, for example, banana blended with dates, a sweetener, or even some orange juice.
When thinking about your dried fruits, my tip is to choose as many as you like to give different flavours. Coconut can be added from the start but is better if you add it after baking.
For the nuts and seeds, use raw nuts or seeds all the time, and be sure to bake your granola no higher than 170°C, as nuts tend to get burned before you finish baking your granola.
Ana’s Favourite Granola Flavour Combos
This is a difficult one as I love many different flavour combinations, but the ones that I keep regularly going to are:
- Blended banana, cinnamon and dates with jumbo oats, coconut and lots of almonds and walnuts.
- Orange juice, maple syrup and coffee base with jumbo oats, macadamias, almonds and orange peel.
4 Pro Protein Granola Tips To Remember
- Using dates instead of syrup it’s a great tip to remember — I always use dates with my banana granola
- Also using banana is a great ingredient to keep in mind as its sweet by nature so you don’t have to add much more extra sweeteners or oil.
- Another good tip is using one teaspoon of bicarbonate to make a fluffy syrup. Just boil orange juice or water mixed with honey, brown sugar or maple syrup and add the bicarbonate when it starts bubbling. This will create a fluffy mix that will coat your oats easily and will help you use less sweetener too.
- Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein in your granola, so feel free to add as many as you want if you’re looking to boost your protein intake. Also, if you want to add some extra protein powder it’s best mixed in with your oats before adding your syrup or banana blend.
How To Make Ana’s Healthy Sugar Free Granola
- 2 bananas
- 4 pitted dates
- 150ml of water
- 350g of oats
- 1/4 cup of nuts
- 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: 2 tbsp vanilla protein
- Blend bananas, dates and water (at this point you can add optional protein powder and extra 50ml water).
- Mix oats, cinnamon and salt, and add the blended banana mix.
- Stir until all oats are fully covered.
- Bake at 170C for 20 min, then stir and put back for another two to three 10 minute intervals until it’s golden.
How To Make Form’s Banoffee Protein Granola
- 200g jumbo oats
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 50g pecan nuts
- 50g cashew nuts
- 50g puffed rice
- 40g Performance Banoffee
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 70g dried bananas
- Preheat oven to 180c. Line a large, rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine oats, puffed rice, seeds and nuts.
- In a saucepan, gently melt the oil, mix in the maple syrup, almond butter, spices, salt and vanilla.
- Once incorporated, add this into the dry mixture bowl. Mix well to coat everything.
- Spread it out evenly on the baking tray. Bake it for 12-15 minutes.
- Leave to cool, before scattering the dried bananas over the granola and mix thoroughly. Store it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.