Gastronomy  Christmas Oat Granola
21/12/201700:00 Mad About Macarons
Hello everyone!
If you follow me on Instagram and pop in to see what's going on in stories behind my profile pic, it won't come as a surprise to hear that I make a weekly batch of granola for the family. With the holidays approaching and thoughts of keeping healthy over the winter, I couldn't resist turning festive with this delicious Christmas Oat Granola recipe.

French Pastry Chefs’ Attitude to Sugar
Over the years of living in France, I've adored tasting all sorts of pastries and desserts; at first glance at my website and patisserie books, it may look like I have a ridiculously sweet tooth but it couldn't be further from the truth. If you try a French tart, éclair, chocolate fondant, macaron, financier or even a simple chouquette from the best French patisseries, you'll discover that that it's not overly sweet. I've learned the same rule from many top French pastry chefs. What's their delicious secret?

There should be just enough sugar to bring out the flavours - too much sugar kills the recipe.

🎅  Christmas Oat Granola 🎄
As with my homemade maple granola, I always test until I've reduced the sugar to taste - and in this recipe there's finally none needed. The natural sugars are deliciously sweet enough to start the day, coming from the maple syrup and the dried fruits.
To conjure up some festive flavours, I added warming spices, orange zest and special Christmassy nuts such as brazil and pecan nuts.  The orange zest may seem a lot, but the flavour calms down as it toasts in the oven, leaving just the right amount for a cosy, Christmas hint at breakfast time. And, ça va sans dire – it goes without saying – that you can have this at any time of year!
Maple syrup and dried fruits are the key to the right amount of sweetness in this recipe.
Servings: fills a cookie jar
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

300g (11oz) medium porridge oats
100g (3.5oz) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
50g (1.75oz) sunflower seeds
50g (1.75oz) pecan nuts, broken
50g (1.75oz) brazil nuts (or hazelnuts), roughly chopped
pinch salt (fleur de sel)
2 tsp gingerbread spice, or apple spice *
zest of an unwaxed/organic orange
2 tbsp sunflower oil (or other neutral oil/coconut oil, melted if solid)
5 tbsp maple syrup
80g (3oz) dried cranberries
20g (0.75oz) dried goji berries
10g (0.25oz )dried apple slices, broken (optional)
(* 1½ tsp ground cinnamon; ¼ tsp ground nutmeg; ¼ tsp ground ginger; ¼ tsp ground cloves)

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C fan); Gas 3.
2. Measure all the ingredients (except the dried fruits) and grate the zest of the orange in a large bowl. Stir to mix them all well together.
3. Grease a large rimmed baking tray with more oil or use a baking tray covered with baking paper (or a Silpat silicone mat). Spread out the oat mixture by shaking the tray gently from side to side.
4. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, turn over the mixture to ensure the mixture is toasted evenly, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Leave to cool completely for about 30 minutes then add the dried fruits.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy at its best and consume within a week.

Serve with fresh berries - yum!

Serve with milk, almond milk or yogurt and fresh berries. I love to sprinkle on a teaspoon of bee pollen, which is not only natural tasting of honey but it’s good for boosting the body’s immune and digestive system a couple of times a year.
This article was originally published on Jill's blog, Mad About Macarons. Read all about her recipes, inspirations and more here!
Bonjour! I’m Jill Colonna, a Scot whisked to Paris in 1993 by my French (Corsican) husband and for the past 25 years have become smitten with the French life. Other than my blog, I’m author of two patisserie recipe books, "Teatime in Paris" and "Mad About Macarons". Join me in my Parisian kitchen to make easy, healthy recipes with my own twists from family meals to simple entertaining à la Française - and come travel with me on delicious discoveries of gourmet treats from Paris and around France!

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