Yes, you read correctly: high calorie granola. It is rare that I post a recipe for anything which is high calorie on purpose, but I have a son who is training for the army and he needs the calories along side the health. This is an all natural, very flexible granola recipe. I make a mountain of the stuff and it lasts practically no time at all!
The basis of this high calorie granola is, of course, oats. I buy oat groats in bulk and roll them as needed. Here I am rolling about three to four cups depending on the ratios of fruit and nuts to oats. It is less expensive to use more oats but it won’t be as high calorie as that made with a higher ratio of nuts and seeds.
I then mix together nuts and seeds. I swap them out each time, so no granola is the same. But this is the beauty of this particular recipe. It’s a buy and chuck in type recipe, which is perfect for careless cooks (ie me!).
I buy maybe three types of nuts, three types of seeds and two to three types of dried fruit. Thomas needs high protein as well as high calorie, so I tend to make ours with significantly more nuts and seeds than fruit. If you want yours sweeter or less nuttier then add some more fruit. Seriously, anything goes! I empty each of the packs, rather than measure them.
Mix together the nuts and the fruits separately. I find this distributes each component better in the final product. But chucking them all in at the same time works too!
As you can see from the above photo, this is a high density and thus high calorie granola. The next bit is simple too. You need to decide which sweetener you wish to use (if any) and which fat to use. I always choose a mixture of honey and maple syrup as the sweetener, and olive oil as the fat. If you choose olive oil you will achieve a crisp end product which does not stick together at all. Melted butter will harden after cooking and you will be able to make granola bars. Coconut oil hardens slightly but I don’t find it makes bars which actually stay together. I use about a cup of fat and a cup of sweetener, but this can be altered according to the taste you are going for.
The last thing I add is some cocoa powder. We find this gives the granola a richness and depth of taste. I use maybe a quarter of a cup, although often I don’t measure and just keep tasting until I have the flavour I’m looking for. You can add vanilla essence, or coconut flakes or even chocolate chips.
I bake in the oven for between 30 and 60 minutes on 140 degrees Celsius. You want to crisp it without burning any of the fruit. I cook such large quantities that I need to turn the mixture every ten minutes of so. It is ready when the granola is crispy and golden brown.
Store in an air tight container.