Beetroot and chocolate granola

I'm a self-confessed granola addict. So much so that last year, despite being heavily pregnant at the time I did a food business course to see if I could set up a small business selling the stuff. Whether that works out or not remains to be seen but I still can't get enough of it and make massive batches weekly to feed my growing family.

I don't usually add veg to my granola, preferring to pack in the dried fruit, nuts and seeds instead but in a flash of inspiration over the weekend I wondered whether beetroot and chocolate, that combination that works so well in a cake, would work in granola.

And I think it does. It's a different texture to the granola I usually make, slightly moister and chewer and less crunchy. I assume that's something to do with the liquid content of the beetroot. Plus it looks really pretty with the purple flecks amongst the oats and nuts.

300g oats (I like to use jumbo rolled oats)
100g almonds, chopped
100g sunflower seeds
250g grated beetroot
100ml honey or maple syrup
100ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g sultanas (optional)
5 tbsp cacao nibs or plain chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 120°C. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or cover with greaseproof paper.

Mix together the oats, almonds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the grated beetroot. Add the honey or maple syrup, sunflower oil and vanilla extract and mix well until everything is covered.

Spread in a thin layer over the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, stir and then put back in the oven for a further 20 minutes.

Allow to cool on the tray. Once cool stir in the sultanas and cacao nibs or chocolate chips. 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for around a week.

Serve with fresh fruit, compote or yoghurt. Or just eat out of the box while no-one's looking.

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