Friday, 27 August 2010

How to Make... Granola

Granola, crunchy... whatever you want to call it. Is granola an American-ism for crunchy? Is crunchy even a word? Is granola used to describe the hard crunchy cereal in England and used to describe anything that resembles muesli in the US? Its a mystery. Please let me know if you have the answers!

This is so stupidly easy I feel a bit ashamed even putting it up. But its an absolute must for breakfast fanatics (Oh, I know you're out there...) and it makes your kitchen smell gorgeous for a little bit.

It's also really nice to have a granola made from scratch. It may be sugary, but at least there isn't added sugar or any of the other bizarre and unnecessary things you find written in the un-ending small-print on the side of cereal boxes.

In a bowl, mix together oats with a handful of raisins, hazelnuts, almonds, cranberries and pecans. I also add in a good handful of mixed seeds for texture. I put mixed seeds in everything.

You can also be creative- put in whatever you want. Dried prunes, apricots, Brazil nuts... Even mix in some cereal that you have a particular penchant for.

Spoon in enough maple syrup to hold it all together. Stir through until its all bound in a flaky, sticky ball.

Line a tray with parchment paper and spoon the mixture on, spreading it out evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at about 170. When it comes out it should be golden brown and soft, probably deeper in colour around the edges. As you leave it to cool it will harden up. Break up the mix into granola-esque lumps. In an air tight container, it should store for about two weeks.

I would recommend it scattered over muesli, with Greek yoghurt and blueberries. To make it extra wonderful, you could caramelise whole pecans separately or bake in Golden Syrup, before stirring in at the end. There really is nothing better in the world than breakfast.

I have it on good authority from in-house taste tester that this is a success! It is lovely- and worth making in bulk.

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