It’s been a long time since I shared a recipe, which isn’t really representative of how much I love cooking. When I’m craving something delicious, homemade wins every single time – it’s always a hundred times more delicious, and the process of creating something (and filling the house with a delicious fragrance) is immensely relaxing and satisfying.
As soon as the weather warms up, I make great batches of granola almost every fortnight. It’s scumptious, healthy and sustaining (read: keeps 11am sugar cravings at bay) as a cereal (just add milk and fresh berries), or wonderful as a topping on plain greek yoghurt with honey or fruit compote, sprinkled on ice cream, or just poured into a little dish as it comes as a healthy nibble when you’re craving a snack, but not a zillion calories (I’ll pick at this when watching a movie, instead of a bag of sugary snacks). Just as importantly, it is infinitely customisable and the combinations of ingredients is entirely dependent on personal taste/what is at hand in the cupboard.
I’m never precise with the measurements – I just throw a pile of oats, some seeds and nuts in a bowl, add whatever dried fruit and juice I have to hand and stir until it looks about right. Feel free to change the ingredients to suit (delicious combinations are dried cherry and hazelnut, apricot and almond, or dried berries with choc chips added after cooking is a delcious combination if you don’t mind the calories, or just omit the dried fruit altogether and serve with fresh fruit instead).
A few cups of plain rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
1 cup roughly chopped nuts (any combination, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachios)
A good handful of mixed seeds (such as pumpkin, sunflower, linseed)
1 cup roughly chopped dried fruit (such as apricots, peach, cranberries, dried cherries, sultanas, raisins)
1/2 cup apple juice (though any juice will do really)
2 tbs honey + 2 tbs maple or golden syrup (or 4 tbs honey if preferred)
2 tbs oil or melted butter
Small handful of dried coconut (shredded of flaked)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
A large handful of rice bubbles, wheat flakes, chocolate chips or any other preferred additives
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (35o farenheit). Lightly mist 2 large baking trays/sheets with cooking spray.
Combine the oats and cinnamon in a bowl until you’re happy with the proportions (no need to be too precise).
In a separate small bowl, combine the juice, vanilla extract, honey, syrup, salt and oil/butter. Add this to the dry ingredients, and stir well. Taste, and if it seems a little dry or not as sweet as you would like, add a touch more juice or honey (the mix should be moist and combined, though not saturated).
Spoon evenly into two large baking trays, and bake for approximately 20 minutes – or until almost dry and golden. At this stage, add the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut (stirring in to combine and break up the baked mix slightly – you want a mix of small pieces and chunks). Bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the nuts and dried fruit look slightly baked (do keep checking regularly, as the fruit can quickly burn) and the whole mix is a nicely crisp and golden.
Allow to cool completely in baking trays, then stir through rice bubbles (or whichever ‘unbaked’ ingredients you wish) – these will lighten the whole mix, and add another textural layer against the crunchy oats.
Makes 2 large mason jars worth.
What is one of your favourite versatile recipes?
Love, Miss B xx