Granola is the healthy-start breakfast I’ve been meaning to make for weeks.
A timely reminder came my way recently from a couple of fellow food bloggers I follow avidly. Thank you Barbara at Pane e Burro, and Aran at Cannelle et Vanille for sharing your recipes which have prompted my miscela of a granola here.
Granola uses up all lurking packets of dried fruit, seeds and nuts that have almost taken root in the back of my dry-food store cupboard. Checking the past-by dates, I roasted them up with some local honey – eucalyptus flower this time – and now have a good couple of weeks’ breakfasts sorted. I love porridge at least one day a week, but with spring in the air (the last day really has got warmer inside my house and sun is aplenty), granola is my spring-summer alternative. After all, come June and 40 degrees, there’s no way I can face porridge. And no one in my family likes it anyway except me.
At university, my flatmate Claire, part Swiss, would put us other gals to shame when she’d whip up a healthy Bircher muesli breakfast after an hour’s run around campus. In the early ’80s, cereals of the healthy, sugar-free kind were only just coming into vogue. Sadly, I had to give up all cereals as found I was intolerant to most, except porridge oats. Granola, missing out anything wheat-based, is fine though and a good start to the day. It’s also useful to sprinkle on simple cooked fruit as a crumble topping, and for flinging a handful into plain yoghurt for a snack any time.
Granola has helpfully cleared the decks in my baking cupboard too. Like Barbara of Pane e Burro, I regret not having made this far earlier in life! Claire, if you’re listening, I’ve finally got round to it, but for all the benefits of my roasted muesli, I’ll not match your health a while yet (Claire is amazingly fit and runs her own Yoga centre near Zurich). I must tempt her to Malta to run a course for friends and followers here…with Red Bistro supplying the nutrition.
All images © Liz Ayling 2013
Good morning Granola
- 300g oats – firm flaked oats not the rolled porridge varietyprint button transparent
- 180g mixed nuts and seeds: I used flaked almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, linseed, omega mix (from a health food shop), pumpkins seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds.
- 75gm dried fruit (I used cranberries, and flame raisins)
- 125ml apple juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence, top quality
- 60ml sesame oil
- 125ml honey (or use maple syrup)
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Gently heat the oil, honey, apple juice, vanilla essence and salt in a small pan over a low heat until the oil is combined well with the melted honey and the salt dissolved.
- Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and combine well until coated.
- Spread the mix over the lined baking tray, ensuring it’s not too deep. If need be, cook in two batches.
- Bake for around 40 minutes, shaking and tossing the mix up every 15 minutes. You don’t want to bake it like a hard flapjack so ensure it’s loosened up at intervals during baking.
- The granola is done when mid brown in colour and crisped up. Leave to cool in the closed, switched off oven.
- When completely cool, store in airtight container; it keeps well for a month.
- Tip: Add the dried fruit just at the last 10 minutes of baking, or add after cooking, to stop the fruit hardening up too much.