Cakes & Bakes

Rachel Taylor

Cut the sugar, not the sweet

granola
Over the past couple of years the perils of eating too much sugar has become more and more of a talked about issue.
 
A lot of individuals have written articles and published books on how to cut sugar completely out of your diet.
 
However, with so many ready prepared meals and processed foods for us to choose from now it is very difficult to know exactly how much sugar we are eating and almost impossible to cut it from our diets.
 
But there are things we can do to help reduce the amount of sugar we eat.
 
There is little doubt that too much is harmful to us – tooth decay is a major issue, as is obesity and type 2 diabetes.
 
With one of my year groups in school at the moment we are looking at diet related disorders.
 
A couple of weeks ago we looked at coronary heart disease.
 
Some of the guidelines given to us are to reduce the saturated fat content in our foods; giving an example of swapping to low fat yoghurt. But if you check the labels, in general, a low fat yoghurt contains about 4-5g of sugar more than in the regular one.
 
It is very difficult to make healthy choices and is definitely about moderation and regular exercise.
 
Homemade granola
 
Today I am sharing a little recipe for a granola which can be eaten as a snack, as a dessert or a breakfast.
 
When we look at our breakfast cereals, the typical 30g serving of most popular cereals contain two or three teaspoons of sugar.
 
Most adults I know eat a lot more than 30g of cereal! Take Coco Pops – a small bowl has 10.5g of sugar – that’s just over two teaspoons. The ever popular Frosties have 11g as well.
 
When you think that we are recommended to eat no more than 25-30g (five-six teaspoons) of sugar each day, that’s quite a lot for a small breakfast!
 
So the granola I am featuring today has 5g per serving and each serving is about 80g, so if you have less, there’s even less sugar.
 
Serve this with milk, or yoghurt at any time of the day as part of a meal or a snack. Enjoy…happy baking!
 
Ingredients
• 400g porridge oats.
• 80g dried cranberries.
• 50g pecans/walnuts (chopped).
• 50g sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds.
• One teaspoon ground cinnamon or allspice.
• 80ml honey.
• 30ml vegetable oil.
• Zest of a large orange.
 
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 140C (fan). Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Mix the oats, nuts, seeds and spice in a large bowl.
3. Heat the honey over a low heat until really runny, then add the oil and zest, mix well.
4. Pour onto the oats mixture and combine until all the oats are well covered.
5. Spoon the mixture onto the two trays, making sure it is just in one even layer.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool completely, break up any large bits that are stuck together and store in an airtight container. This granola will keep for up to three months quite happily.