Saturday, 22 September 2012
I like my granola darkly toasted and clumpy, strewn with fruit, light on seeds, heavy on pecans and salty-sweet-savoury from sea salt, honey and extra virgin olive oil.
Originally I added the dried fruits at the beginning but they became too crunchy and you couldn't really detect the flavours. Now I add them near the end - just long enough for the fruits to soak up some of the liquid and meld into the mixture.
For breakfast, I dollop a few spoons of greek yogurt into my bowl, add whatever fresh fruit is to hand (sliced apple or banana, berries etc), splash in some milk and then scatter a handful of the granola over the top. It's also good with straight milk, though I like the complexity some fruit and slightly sour yogurt adds. Sometimes I take a little box of it to the library, to eat outside when I'm getting some fresh air. It's my granola break - a fag break for sugar-dependent non-smokers.
Finally, learn from my mistake: don't put it in a clear plastic box on your worktop. Whenever I'm in the kitchen I find it impossible to keep my hands from cracking the sides of the lid open and sneaking a few clumps. It taunts me every time I make a cup of tea.
(adapted from Nekisia Davis' recipe on Food 52)
135g oats - rolled or porridge or a mixture
60g pecan halves, broken up/chopped
20g brown sugar*
30g sunflower seeds
30g coconut strips
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
100ml runny honey
70ml extra virgin olive oil
40g dried cranberries
40g dried apricots, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Get out a big mixing bowl and add the oats, pecan halves, sugar, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sea salt and nutmeg (I put the bowl on my scales and zero as I add each one). Stir together. Add the honey and olive oil and stir well. Tip out onto a big baking sheet (with some sort of side) and spread out.
Put into the oven and bake for 10 minutes then stir (don't worry about how gloopy it looks) and put back in for another 15 minutes. Add the cranberries, apricots and raisins and stir in. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the granola is a rich golden brown. Stir occasionally as it cools, breaking into small clumps if needed and scraping the bottom. Add the extra salt if you think it needs it. Keeps well in a sealed box or tin (mine has always run out in under a week).
(Makes 1 smallish batch, easy to scale up)
Tip: I pour the oil into my measuring jug first, then tip it around a bit so the sides are oily. Then pour in the honey up to the 170ml mark. It'll slip easily out into the bowl without the honey sticking.
* UPDATE 2014 - I now use 20g instead of 40g sugar - it's a touch less sweet and the flavours seem more pronounced. I mix and match the add-ins (i.e. nuts, seeds and fruits) according to my cupboard that day - dried cherries and chunkily chopped skin-on whole almonds are some of my new favourites. I also switch between honey and maple syrup - you can use the same volume.