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Lerato chocolate banana nut granola


I love breakfast, even better when it’s brought to me and all I have to do is eat it. The best breakfast is one that is not only nutritious but indulgent and almost naughty. I do love a fry up, but there is no fry up that isn’t naughty, even if the eggs, sausages and bacon are all grilled, it will contain a good amount of grease, which is probably what makes a fry up so appealing.

The naughtiness of the fat and grease, so bad that its good. I have found the perfect solution to the need for a naughty but nice breakfast. My husband’s love for chocolate inspires me to create a lot of chocolate recipes and here is one I whipped up with my kitchen staples that I always have in the fridge and cupboard. He loves to eat weetabix and bananas covered with a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce and lots of milk and so I made a granola bar with all his favourite things and more to make this the naughtiest and nicest breakfast ever.

This granola breakfast is packed with a lot of goodness like bananas, cashew nuts, raisins, dried blueberries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dates and cacao. The generous amount of fruits provides so much sweetness to this recipe. The layers of granola, dates, chocolate, nuts and seeds are a wonderful combination of flavours and textures that are a true treat to start the day with.

As with most of my recipes, you can throw in much of what you like to truly make the recipe yours. Chocolate for breakfast anyone?

Feeds 4 hungry tummies
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

For the banana nut granola bar
•420g /4 cups organic oats
•70g /1/2 cup of cashew nuts, dried blueberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds
•2 medium bananas
•1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil
•1 tsp Agave nectar (honey or maple syrup)
•Pureed dates
•150g dates, pitted and soaked
•Rocky Chocolate Glaze
•3 tablespoons of cacao powder /cocoa powder/ 100g dark chocolate bar
•1 tbs Agave nectar
•1 tbs virgin coconut oil
•70g /1/2 cup of cashew nuts, dried blueberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds

Let’s get cooking!
To start, soak your pitted dates in hot water and leave aside for up to 40 minutes. Imported dates tend o have been soaked already, while dates picked in Nigeria will be drier and need more time to soak. They need to be of jam-like texture in order to get a great puree out of them.

Preheat the oven at 180c and to start the granola bar, crush your nuts and seeds on a chopping board or using a mortar and add into a bowl of oat. You can use whatever nuts you like or have at home. I had cashew nuts from Ivory coast and a mix of seeds and dried fruits. Mash the bananas and add to the mix. You can also use plantain chips or chunks of roasted plantain. This adds a soft texture and incredibly sweet flavour to this.

Melt the coconut oil and add this to the oats and banana mixture, add the agave nectar or your preferred sweetener, a pinch of salt and mix well.

Line a small baking tray with parchment paper or foil and brush it with coconut oil. Scoop your granola mixture and stuff it into the baking tray making sure it is at least as thick as a chocolate bar. Bake in the middle part of the oven for 20 – 30 minutes.

Once the granola is cooked, take it out of the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes. For the date puree, drain the water from the dates that have been soaking. Pound the dates in a mortar or blitz in a food processor. Scoop a generous amount of pureed dates onto the granola bar, and spread to cover its entire surface. You can layer this on as thick or as thin as you want.

Finally, for the chocolate glaze, I used cacao powder which is the original state before the cacao is roasted to become cocoa. I mixed the cacao with warm melted coconut oil, agave nectar and a tablespoon of warm water. Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick. If you cannot get cacao or cocoa powder, use a nice chocolate bar with at least 70% cocoa. On low heat, place a pot with a bit of boiling water in it. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot, ensuring the water in the pot does not touch the glass bowl. Break the chocolate bar into the bowl. Be patient with it and as it starts to melt, pour in your coconut oil and take off the heat. Stir well and add the agave nectar or honey.

Leave the glaze to cool for a few minutes and when it starts to set, pour onto your granola bar. Immediately pour the crushed seed, nuts and dried fruits onto the entire surface of the chocolate covered granola bar.

Leave it to set in the fridge, and enjoy as a breakfast bar or break these decadent bars into a bowl of milk, the choice is yours. A long as you can enjoy a naughty but nice breakfast such as this.

Make this recipe yours by using your favourite vegetables and spices. Share your success with me and other food lovers on social media.

Instagram @lerato_tomato; Twitter @leratotomato; facebook: leraolovesfood

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