Ah, granola, tastiest of cereals! And healthy too, as long as you don’t actually look at the ingredients*. Let’s focus on the tasty part.

Granola: Done

You will need:
Ingreds

  • 3 cups porridge oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts & seeds**
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup syrup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp salt

** Any nuts you like, as long as they’re pecans. A few almond flakes won’t hurt, as long they’re no more than a brief cameo on the pecan show, and an extra handful of pumpkin seeds works well.

Mix

First step: mix all the ingredients together except the fruit. That’ll burn in the oven (which you could be preheating to 140°C/280°F), so we’ll add it at the end. The traditional advice is to get your fingers in, but this is seriously sticky stuff, so if you can do it with a spatula, that will save a epic handwash. You can do the mixing directly in the baking tray if you want to reduce the washing up.

Once everything is evenly mixed, and all the oats have a sticky golden coating, spread the mixture in a large baking tray. Stick it in the oven, and bake for about 40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

Spread Bake

Take it out just as starts to turn a darker shade of golden. If in doubt, err on the side of slightly undercooked, as it will go crispy as it cools anyway. The picture shows the limit – don’t go any darker than that.

Now all that remains is to stir in the fruit, and test your willpower: can you let it cool before you “check the quality”, and avoid a scorched mouth? Serve with yoghurt, with milk, on its own… it’s granola, you know how to work it. Personally I like to mix it with branflakes, to get a decent sized breakfast without it being a complete sugarfest.

Finish

* For what it’s worth, this recipe works out at around 450-500 kcal per 100g serving, which is pretty much in line with shop-bought granola. The big contributors to that are the oats and the nuts, at about one third each. You can’t really reduce the oats, as that just means you’re making less granola, but you can shave about 15% off the calorie count by halving the nuts and slightly reducing the oil. I’ve tried this, and can definitively report that it’s not worth it – much better to reduce your portion size by 15% and keep it tasty.

 

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