Whilst I’ve always been an avid green tea drinker, I’ve just discovered Tea Pigs matcha powder. OMG! I am surprised it is legal. The good stuff is pricey but all you need is half a teaspoon of the powder made into a tea, or stirred into another liquid, to keep you energised (I know that word is over-used in plant-based food world, but in this case it is genuine) all morning.
Granola could not be easier to make. It merely involves mixing all the ingredients together – albeit with a bit of mashing and melting – and then leaving it in the oven to dry out. Don’t worry if the granola seems ridiculously wet at first; a slow cook – with regular stirring and breaking up of the ‘clumps’ – will transform it. That said, this will not be particularly crunchy granola as it doesn’t contain that much fat, has no maple/agave syrup/honey, and is quite moist anyway given the banana, mango and water.
Matcha is slightly bitter so I combined it with the sweetest fresh fruit I could think of, plus a few dates for their concentrated toffee hit. For similar reasons, I’ve also included maca which is a malted, caramelly tasting powder derived from the root of a tuber plant in the Andes. Maca has been dubbed as Peruvian ginseng (no, not marching powder) as there are claims that it gives a subtle boost. Nevertheless, it contains a wealth of nutrients such as vitamin Bs, C and E. I have listed hemp powder as an optional ingredient: it’s a good source of protein but too much can be bitter. Finally, I suggest adding a pinch of salt as it really brings out the pistachios.
Feel free to deviate from the list of ingredients below. Experiment with nut butters – I’ve plumped exclusively for coconut oil here as I love the pairing of coconut and mango – and various other nuts and dried fruit.
You will need 2 large baking trays lined with greaseproof paper or a reusable teflon baking liner (these rock my world). Alternatively, use a silicon baking tray.
Ingredients (around 6-8 servings)
4 medjool dates soaked in 100ml water
Flesh of 1 large mango
50g coconut oil
250g oats – gluten free or conventional
Pinch of salt (optional but recommended)
75g dried mango
75g sultanas/raisins/other dried fruit
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp matcha power
1-2 tbs chia seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
25g sunflower seeds
2 tbp maca
2 tbp maca
1 tbp hemp powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150 (fan)/170 (conventional)
- Start by stoning and leaving the dates to soak in 100ml of warm water.
- Next combine the dry ingredients: first break up the nuts into random, irregular chunks. Either pulse briefly in a food processor or bash them in a freezer bag with a heavy object such as a rolling pin. Mix them up with the oats, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, matcha and maca (and hemp, if using) powders and dried fruit and leave to the side.
- Peel and remove the stone from your mango and mash up with the banana, dates and their soaking water until you have a sloppy smoothie-like consistency. If you have one, use a food processor for ease here.
- Melt the coconut oil on a very low heat in a large saucepan, then tip in the dry ingredients. Mix this really well before pouring in the banana-mango-date puree.
- Once everything is mixed up, spread the wet granola on the greaseproof paper as thinly as possible and put the baking trays into the oven.
- The granola needs to cook for about 45-50 minutes, but to avoid really clumpy chunks, you will need to regularly stir/redistribute to allow the oven heat to evenly dry it out. Check it after 15 minutes and use a spatula/fish slice to turn it over. Check after another 15 minutes and break it up into smaller chunks and then maybe have a final stir in another 10 minutes.
- The granola may still seem a bit wet when the cooking time is up but will firm up and dry out as it cools. Once it is cold, store in airtight containers for up to a week.