Lee Holmes’ delicious cranberry and walnut granola

Tired of grinding your teeth on over-baked processed ready-made granola? It strikes me as odd that some packaged granolas have received health-food cult status. Store-bought varieties are usually full of sugar and brimming with bad fats. Whipping up a batch of this wholesome granola, from my new cookbook Eat Yourself Beautiful (Murdoch; $35) will bring out your inner earth mother (or father!). Plus it moonlights as a cheeky nibble during the day. It’s easy to swap out ingredients – as long as you stick to the basic mix you can make this granola your own.

Ingredients

300 g (101/2 oz/11/2 cups) quinoa or brown rice flakes

90 g (31/4 oz/3/4 cup) chopped walnuts

75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) dried cranberries

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

2 tablespoons almond flakes

1 tablespoon flaxseeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) coconut oil

60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) rice malt syrup

1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) coconut flakes

Almond milk, to serve

Method

1)      Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2)      Combine the quinoa, walnuts, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pepitas, almond flakes, flaxseeds, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well to combine.

3)      Place the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat and heat until it has melted. Add the rice malt syrup and vanilla and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

4)      Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well, ensuring the dry ingredients are coated thoroughly.

5)      Transfer the granola to the baking tray in a single layer, then cook in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps that form. Remove from the oven, add the coconut flakes, and bake for a further 5 minutes.

6)      Remove from the oven and cool.

7)      To serve, place in a bowl and top with almond milk. It also tastes great on its own. This granola keeps for 4 weeks in an airtight container  in a cool dry place.

Health Benefits: A quarter of a cup of walnuts can give you nearly 95% of your daily omega-3 requirements, and the huge amount of B vitamins they contain can not only help reduce stress, but keep your skin looking young, delaying the occurrence  of fine lines and wrinkles.