Light yet satisfying granola

Lily Higgins: Serve with creamy Irish yogurt for a really gorgeous breakfast, in seconds

For the past few months my sister Rosie has been making this granola. Anyone who tastes it just wants more. We’ve all been giving her empty jars that she’s filled with this deliciously light yet satisfying granola and now finally I have the recipe too.

With creamy Irish yogurt and fruit compote or honey, it makes a really gorgeous breakfast that takes seconds to assemble on busy mornings. Anytime I’m on a long train journey I take a tub of yogurt and one of granola to eat on the train. Perfect food for journeys. Add a sliced banana and it really keeps you going till lunchtime. My kids love it too. They stir it through yogurt or add a few tablespoons to their regular cereal. It happens to be grain free and is sweetened by maple syrup but honey will work just as well. Just watch it carefully as it cooks so that it doesn’t burn.

Incredible dairy produce

Yogurt is a real wonder food and something I eat most days. Here in Ireland we have access to incredible dairy produce. Every Saturday I stock up on yogurt from the Ballymaloe Cookery School stall. It's made onsite in the little dairy with milk from their own herd of Jersey cows. It's creamy and delicious, organic and as local as can be. Another favourite yogurt of mine is the live natural yogurt from Old MacDonnell's Farm. This has a real tang and is perfectly set. It can be difficult to find so I usually buy a couple of cartons at a time.


It’s now widely acknowledged that such foods rich in probiotics are hugely beneficial for our gut health. Including live yogurt in our diet can have massive benefits. I always add a few spoons to my children’s smoothies or offer it as a snack.


Another fantastic source of probiotics is kefir. I buy mine from My Goodness in Cork, which has a stall at various farmers markets around Cork and a stall in The English Market. It makes a vast array of incredible raw cakes and crackers, sauerkraut, kimchi and its legendary water-based kefir. With flavours like hibiscus, ginger and lemon, it’s become my children’s effervescent drink of choice. I think they genuinely feel good after drinking it.

Serve this granola with yogurt and some fruit such as berries, bananas or apples. These are a great source of prebiotics, rich in insoluble fibre enabling your gut to benefit even more from the probiotic-rich yogurt served with it.

If you have an interest in probiotics I can highly recommend professors Ted Dinan and John Cryan's book The Psychobiotic Revolution. As a leading authority in this exciting area of science, Dinan gave an insightful talk on this subject at a Slow Food event in Ballymaloe Cookery School a few months back and there was standing room only as we were all enraptured with this fascinating subject.

Rosie's Granola

150ml coconut oil
125ml maple syrup
300g ground almonds
200g pecan nuts
300g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line two trays with baking parchment. Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a gentle heat. Add the maple syrup and warm through.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the coconut oil and syrup, mix gently till combined. The mixture will be wet.

Spread the granola evenly onto the trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking and turning every 10 minutes or so. Store in an airtight jar in a dark place. Serve with fruit and yogurt. This will keep for at least two weeks.