Earlier this week I embarked on a mission to get my kitchen cupboards in order. It may not be the most exciting way to celebrate the start of 2014 but it sure is gratifying. You just can’t beat a clean and orderly food shelf can you? (Actually I think you can: a clean fridge far exceeds the delight of tidy kitchen shelves).
So, as the saying goes, ‘out with the old and in with the new’. I have stocked up on all the basics and cleared out the old/ out of date/ unrecognisable stuff. In the process of doing so, I have come across a collection of weird and wonderful wholefood ingredients. One of the mysterious containers knocking around the back of my shelf included nutritional yeast flakes. These are also known as ‘nooch’ or ‘savoury yeast flakes’ depending on where you live.
Now then, nutritional yeast flakes, are quite a wonder ingredient. When I stumbled across them in a health food shop, they were quite a revelation to me. As the name suggests, nutritional yeast flakes are very nutritional and full of wholesomeness. But they are also very tasty: commonly used in vegan food or dairy free diets, the flakes have a cheesy, savoury flavour. You can use them as a condiment, topping, salad sauce ingredient or anything else that comes to mind. The only downside is that you can’t cook these flakes because they lose their vitamin goodness.
So, for some reason, I was inspired to make a savoury version of granola (that expensive breakfast cereal that seems to currently dominate the breakfast aisle in UK supermarkets). I don’t mean a granola to eat with milk in the morning but more a nutty savoury snack to munch on throughout the day. And I thought that nutritional yeast flakes would be a brilliant addition to the recipe. I’m always trying to think up healthy savoury snacks to present to my daughter (and eat myself) rather than getting out the breadsticks yet again (although toddlers never seem to tire of breadsticks).
This savoury snack is quite a winner with the little lady (see photos below) and me. The recipe below makes a decent amount to store in a jar and decant as needed. I eat my savoury granola as a mid-morning snack at work and A-L munches on hers on the way back from nursery.
Nutritional yeast flakes are available at health food shops. This recipe could be adjusted and made with or without nutritional yeast, and any of the other ingredients could probably be substituted for other seed or nut varieties. I just used what I had in my (clean and tidy) cupboards. As well as a snack, this savoury granola could be sprinkled on soups, added to salads or used as a topping for jambalaya.
- 50ml sunflower oil
- 50ml soy sauce
- 1/2tsp ground sweet paprika
- ground cayenne (optional)
- 100g oats
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp linseeds
- 50g flaked almonds
- 50g cashews (whole or chopped in pieces)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in a jug, together with the sweet paprika and cayenne (if using).
- In a large bowl, measure out all of the remaining ingredients except the nutritional yeast flakes. Combine the dried ingredients and then stir in the wet ingredients. Mix well.
- Spread out on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes at 140C. The granola is ready when it looks toasted and light brown in colour.
- Leave the granola to cool for a few minutes before sprinkling over the nutritional yeast flakes. Once completely cool, store in an air-tight container.