Homemade Granola with Sunflower Seeds

1 Jul

As promised, I have finally got around to posting more photos and a recipe inspired by our recent trip to Vejer de la Frontera.

My lasting memory of Vejer will be the fields and fields of sunflowers that you can see wherever you go. I made “The Washer Up” stop the car on numerous occasions so that I could jump out like a mad woman and take some photos.

Their unpretentious lanky beauty and smiley faces spread a joy that is so infectious you just have to get amongst them. I wanted to share that with you.

My other lasting memory will be of the gorgeous breakfasts we ate every morning at the hotel we stayed in, Casa La Siesta. It started off with granola with yoghurt and fruit….

Followed by homemade bread with tomato and avocado…..

Maybe just a little piece of  banana bread….

And then a lie down to recover, it’s so difficult to say no when it’s all there in front of you!

I knew my first Vejer inspired recipe when I came home would have to be something with sunflower seeds. Just so I could post all my sunflower pictures. Either the sunflower seed bread crackers(above) we had at Castilleria (one of our two favourite restaurants in Vejer) or making my own granola. The granola won, I had to get back to being gluten-free after overdosing on holiday and also because it uses sunflower oil as well as the seeds.

If you have never made your own granola before (like me), you will be surprised at how easy it is and how much better it tastes than the store-bought stuff. It is also much better for you, no refined sugar just honey and maple syrup (or miel de cana) for sweetness. Adapt it to suit your taste by using whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you like.

Homemade Granola with Sunflowers Seeds Recipe

Makes a lot, gluten-free, vegetarian. Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

  • 60 gr hazelnuts
  • 40 gr brazil nuts
  • 40 gr walnuts
  • 300 gr rolled oats
  • 60 gr flaked almonds
  • 60 gr sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • 100 gr dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 60 gr dried cranberries
  • 60 gr moscatel raisins

For the Syrup

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 120 ml maple syrup or miel de cana
  • 120 ml honey

Preheat the oven to 140 C. Roughly chop the nuts and put in a large bowl with the seeds and oats. Mix well.

Mix the syrup ingredients together in a small pan and stir over a low heat until warmed through. Pour this over the seeds, nuts and oats and stir well with a wooden spoon until evenly coated.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola over it evenly. It should be in a layer no more than 1cm thick. Use two baking sheets if necessary.

Bake for 40 minutes, turning and mixing the granola 2 or 3 times. It should be a dark honey colour when it’s ready. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Don’t worry if it’s soft it will be crunchy when it cools.

Stir the dried fruit through the granola while it is still warm (not hot). Leave to cool completely on the tray and then transfer to an airtight container. Try not to eat it all off of the tray. It should keep for up to 2 weeks.

I kept some of the granola back without mixing it with the fruit because I want to use it as a crumble topping for a Fig & Almond Granola Crumble. I will be posting the recipe soon. In the meantime enjoy your granola mixed with yoghurt or sprinkled on top of some fresh fruit for breakfast.

Imagine that you are back in your favourite hotel….

Hasta Luego….


21 Responses to “Homemade Granola with Sunflower Seeds”

  1. tiffany July 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    This granola is protein packed! And your pictures are stunning (as usual!!!). I hope you have a GREAT weekend! 😀

  2. Beth Michelle July 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Those sunflowers are breathtaking!!!! BEAUTIFUL photos. Your granola sounds so yummy. I would love it with some date honey and sheep’s yogurt. yummy!

  3. Liz Marr, MS, RD July 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    What lovely photos! And a delicious granola recipe to boot.

  4. BestOodles July 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Beautiful sunflower photos you got there, make me want to smile in no reason. When I was younger I grew one or two sunflower plants but did not realize how beautiful and amazing they look back then.

    Your Granola pack with different dried fruits and nuts, syrup of your this could start a new day beautiful day. I would like that in my Monday breakfast. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Maris(In Good Taste) July 2, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Absolutely magnificent photos!

  6. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 2, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Such a great recipe and just beautiful photos. Love the sunflowers.

  7. Marmande July 2, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Looks great, and seems like such a perfect vacation breakfast. I’m also intrigued by the bread with tomato and avocado – that looks so good! I would eat that for breakfast every day.

  8. Susan July 2, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    Excellent granola … beautiful sunshine and sunflowers, and such a restful picture of the blue … what? Allium? Anyway, sounds like it was a time! And a great one, too!

    • foodblogandthedog July 2, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      They’re agapanthas and I’m desperate to buy some for our roof terrace!!

  9. foodwanderings July 2, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    Love homemade granola I make it often though recently lapsed. thx for the reminder. Your granola and vacation look amazing.

  10. tony ward July 2, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Looks AMAZING dahling, I can almost taste it just from the pic’s and your descriptions. Can’t wait for the fig and almond granola thingy.I don’t have to share that with people do I ??
    The agapanthus is grown here in all the gardens,parks and hedgerows around the Xmas period.It also comes in white, nowhere near as dramatic but beautiful nontheless.The blue also comes in three different shades,one is almost Indigo,my favourite. Maybe you can sneak a few bulbs into your luggage next time you’re here.
    We digress, great food and lovely sunflowers.. xx

  11. bhavani/ameanderingmango July 3, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    Looks delicious – I always eat granola or muesli but hardly ever make it. What bright and beautiful photos too (love the last one). Thanks for sharing a bit of summer!

  12. chicaandaluza July 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Love the recipe but just wanted to say “You lucky, lucky lady” to stay in such a fabulous hotel. We poked our noses in a few months ago when we were driving around there and have been dreaming about staying there ever since. Will have to save up my euros!

    • foodblogandthedog July 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      It is so worth it. We have stayed there twice for two days, both times for our birthdays’ at the end of May/June this year & two years ago. It’s such a special place!

  13. Medeja July 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Yummm!! This is actually one more thing that I should try 🙂

  14. Ashley@bakerbynature July 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    What a delicious way to start your morning!

  15. amisvegetarian July 4, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Wow I like the photography, Tnx for taking us around sunflower fields, so amazing. I’ve only seen them in films. Tc keep sharing.

  16. Stephanie Russell July 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Mmm…I love granola. Actually eating some for breakfast as I type. It really is the easiest and funnest things to make. So good for you and totally customizable!

  17. Anna September 23, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Hi there, I came across your blog while searching for veggie places to eat while on holiday. Love the photos and the recipe! We leave for Seville tomorrow followed by Vejer and then Tarifa. I really hope the Sunflowers are still in season – so beautiful! Just wondering if there are any restaurants you would recommend in Vejer and the surrounding areas for veggies? I am also wheat intolerant (love the granola recipe – will be making it when I get back!) as well as allergic to dairy which is a bit of a nightmare when abroad! Would really appreciate any recommendations you might have. Many thanks Anna

    • foodblogandthedog September 23, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      Hi, I’m jealous, you’ll have a wonderful time! My favourite restaurants in Vejer are La Castilleria which is actually a meatfest kind of place but beautiful and they do a lovely plate of roasted vegetables as well as a veggie soup with rice & poached egg, lovely onion tarts too but wheat I’m afraid. There is an authentic pizzeria called IL Forno which is always packed at the weekends thay also do other Italian dishes, in season, last time I had stuffed courgette flowers and they do a fennel thing. It might be worth doing a drive by to check out the menu first. They are both out of town. In Tarifa the Hurricane hotel does a buffet style lunch at their beach bar (Chiringuito) which normally has veggie salads/couscous etc and the restaurant is always lovely but check out the veggie options first speak to them. It’s not going to be easy, if in doubt just ask for a tinto verano (red wine & lemonade) & a plate of olives! Good luck!!

  18. Sarah @ Two Tarts December 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    I love when you post pictures of your area…those sunflowers!

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