Malted chocolate buckwheat granola
My formative years in America led to an obsession with malted chocolate milkshakes. In fact malted chocolate anything. I don’t go for the milkshakes much any more, but I still crave that chocolate and malt combo. This is my solution, a health-packed granola, which has the kickback of creating a chocolate malt milkshake in the bottom of my bowl.
You can use more maple syrup in place of the barley malt here, but I love the malty taste that it adds. Barley malt syrup can be found in all health food shops and is a naturally processed sweetener, made up of about 50 per cent maltose, a sugar which is only about one-third as sweet as white sugar. It still retains many nutrients from the barley grain from which it was made, and this type of complex sugar takes longer to digest, so it won’t give you the sugar highs and lows of a Mars bar.
This granola is great for a quick sweet snack – I eat it on its own with almond milk and a scattering of raspberries – but it’s just as good with yoghurt or on top of a bowl of porridge to liven things up a little.
MAKES A GOOD JARFUL (ABOUT 800G)
300g rolled oats 200g buckwheat
100g dried fruit (I use coconut, chopped dates, raisins or chopped apricots)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder 30g chia seeds
60ml maple syrup
4 tablespoons barley malt syrup
60ml melted coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and get all your ingredients together.
In a generously sized bowl, mix the oats, buckwheat, dried fruit, cocoa powder and chia seeds. Roughly chop the pecans and add these too.
Put the maple syrup, barley malt syrup and coconut oil into a pan and warm through.
Pour the syrup mixture over the oat mixture and mix until it’s all coated. Then put on a large baking tray or two smaller ones and squish it all together with your hands to form little bundles of granola.
Put into the oven for 5–10 minutes, then take the granola out and use a spoon or spatula to roughly break it up a bit. Put back into the oven for a further 5–10 minutes.
It’s done when it starts to form lovely crunchy bundles. The dark colour from the cocoa will mean it’s easy to overcook, as you won’t be able to see, so if anything take it out a little earlier if you think it’s ready.