A Happy new week from my Zeelicious laboratories aka. my test kitchen. You all the mess in here cannot be described with all the words in the dictionary. Pans and pots here, cooking spoons hanging on my kitchen window, grains of garri, nuts and seeds everywhere. Walaiii my head don scatter ( I’m going nuts) with all the details of my cookbook recipes but hey, I’m progressing and can smell success as I cook and shoot for my Oh-my-yum: favorites from my African kitchen cookbook. Whoop!. But here’s the exciting news. Friends, make way for a tasty breakfast treat without refined sugars. It’s Auntie Zee’s EPIC garri-nola (garri granola). This garri-nola is probably the yummiest you’ve ever eaten. Seriously!
It is bursting with tropical flavors from roasted coconut shavings, coconut blossom syrup, date syrup and choked full of dried fruits, mixed nuts, a variety of seeds and heart-healthy fats from coconut oil. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and loaded with healthy and good-for-you vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fats. Because it is made with whole foods, unrefined oil and sweetened with all natural sweeteners, this garri-nola is healthier than most granolas in the market. One thing I love about this granola is how versatile it is. You can nibble on it as a snack, add it to Greek yogurt for a healthy and yummy breakfast treat or just go the African way and do the ‘cold water garri’ in style. Only this is the upgraded version. Add in some milk and ice cubes for a yummy treat to cool down on a hot Sunday afternoon.
How to make garri-nola
Let me just say that this recipe is adapted from the many ‘how to make granola at home’ recipes on the internet. What I did was substitute the ingredients listed with my favorite ingredients. The combinations are endless you need to be creative here. Use fruits, nuts, and seeds in the season. These are cheaper. If you live in West Africa, use ingredients available in your area. Here is a breakdown of the ingredients I used for this recipe.
Ijebu or white garri: For those who do not know, garri is a very popular staple food in most countries in West African. It is made from fermented cassava that has been ground to fine (or sometimes coarse) grains and fry with or without palm oil. It is hearty, chewy and gluten-free. Though cassava is a carbohydrate, garri has a lower carb value as the process of fermentation reduces its carb content making it a healthier option when mixed with fruits, seeds, and fats. Ijebu garri replaces old-fashioned oats in this recipe. Watch me make some garri HERE.
Dried fruits: I used dried unsweetened mangos, mulberries, and cranberries. These fruits are nutrition powerhouses. You can totally leave out fruits or substitute with your favorite dried fruits. Bare in mind though that fruits give our garri-nola some much needed added sweetness. Dried papaya, straw or raspberries will work just as well.
Nuts: I used a variety of nuts like pecans, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and tiger nuts which are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Yum!
Seeds: I also used a variety of seeds like pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds which are also rich in omega 3s. You can use egusi (melon) seeds as well.
Healthy fats: If you are wondering why oil in granola, well the aim is to achieve crispy garri-nola and oil does the trick. I used homemade unrefined coconut oil for that tropical flair. Make sure you buy extra virgin coconut oil or make yours at home.
Natural sweeteners: I used coconut blossom syrup (an unrefined honey-like syrup got from the coconut tree) to compliment the coconut oil and roasted coconut shaving for a more intense tropical flavor. I also included a good serving of 100% date fruit (dabino) syrup made from dates. Guy this combination is a match made in heaven. These natural sweeteners are loaded with nutrients, flavor and add much needed all-natural sweetness to your garri-nola. Of course, you can always use plain old honey if you cannot get your hands on coconut blossom or date syrup.
Salts: an absolute necessity to boost and complement all these flavors. All you need is the right amount of sea salt to ‘awaken’ all your flavors. A little goes a long way.
Flavors: here is where you can get really creative. Add vanilla powder or cinnamon for some warmth in the winter months. Spice things up with some pumpkin spice, add some zing with ginger or Curcuma powder. or just a bit of dark chocolate for some added decadence.
In fact, go watch me make some right away on YouTube and don’t forget to subscribe cos there is a lot of zeeliciousness going on there every Wednesday’s and Friday’s. If you give this recipe a try, be sure to Instagram, Facebook or Twit me a photo because as always I love seeing your creations. Keep in mind, I’ve got more SUPA recipes on my YouTube channel. You can try my easy garden egg stewor roast some fish this weekend too. Here is a weight loss meal plan you can follow if you are trying to lose some weight. And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button if you haven’t done so already so you never miss a video recipe.
- 2 cups white garri (fermented cassava flakes)
- 11/2 cups toasted coconut flakes
- 1 cup mixed nuts of choice
- 1 cup dried mullberries (or any berry of choice)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberries
- 1 cup dried mangoes
- 1/2 cup mixed seeds of choice
- 1/2 cup date fruit (dabino) syrup (replace with honey or maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup coconut blossom syrup (replace with honey or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted at room temperature
- A pinch of salt
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients until every grain of garri, fruits, nuts and seeds are coated with the syrups or honey.
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture on top.
- For more clumpage or stickyness, your garri-nola needs to be crowded on your baking tray so that they can stick together, but not so crowded that they don't toast evenly.
- Toast at 180 degrees for the first 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 100 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes and finally to 50 degrees for 30 more minutes or until your garri-nola is crispy and toasted to perfection.
- Let your garri-nola cool to room temperation. Now store in air-tight containers. This will keep for about 4 weeks if store well.
- Enjoy as a snack, or for breakfast with greek yogurt or with milk.
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