I really really can’t stomach porridge. It’s one of those things I always think I’ll enjoy, but when it comes to actually eating it? Well, I’d really rather not, thanks. And yet I really really love oats. I pop them in loaves, in cottage pie mix (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it, it’s WELL GOOD), in smoothies. Pass me a flapjack and I am a happy lady. Pass me a bowl of granola-topped yoghurt and I’m happier still.
The one resolution I made at new year that I’ve actually stuck to was to stop buying processed food. If I can make it, rather than buy it (and it’s cost effective – it usually is) then that’s what I’ll do. Recently I’ve seen a lot of granola recipes pop up on Pinterest, which sparked my interest. I’ve whipped up a couple of batches now and it’s completely delicious; sweet, nutty, oaty (obvs). Great over yoghurt, or I’ve just been grabbing a handful as a snack. One thing is for sure: shop bought granola can suck it.
One of the best things about homemade granola is that it’s never exactly the same twice. You can put in whatever you like, and in whatever quantities. Have a play around with flavours and textures, throw in dried fruit if you have it, or chocolate chips if they are more your thing. Sprinkle some ground spices into the mix, choose between honey or maple syrup to bind it all together, it’s totally your call. This is what I’ve been putting in mine:
100g butter (I use salted, but it doesn’t matter either way)
50g brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vegetable oil
200g rolled oats (NOT finely milled readybrek-style oats for this)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
zest of an orange
And then a handful each of:
nuts, whatever I have in the cupboard
Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, honey, vanilla extract and oil.
Mix the oats, spices, zest, coconut, and seeds together in a big bowl. When all the sugar has melted and it’s a bubbling, molten syrup, pour it over the oats and combine. Spread the granola in one layer on a baking tray. One with sides is best as you’ll need to give it a stir and a shake so you don’t end up with flapjack.
Bake for 20-30 minutes in the oven. Toss the mixture every 10 minutes or so to make sure it colours evening and doesn’t stick. about halfway through cooking, add the dried fruit to the baking tray.
When it’s golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool. This will last for at least a couple of weeks in an airtight container.