Granola

Photography by Jonathan Gregson

‘Granula’ was invented in 1894 as a healthy breakfast by Dr. Connor Lacey at Jackson Sanitarium in Dansville, New York. (Around the same time a certain Dr Bircher-Benner was inventing his own healthy cereal in Switzerland!) What we now call granola has been reinvented a number of times since the original recipe, which was actually nothing like the sweet baked nuggets of grains, fruit and nuts that we now know and love. This recipe is the easiest and tastiest make-it-yourself breakfast granola, with no hidden nasties. I use a bag of four-grain porridge, available in some supermarkets, as the base – it’s a mix of jumbo oats, flaked brown rice, flaked wheat and flaked barley. However, you can use just oats or a mix of the above. Also, feel free to up the nuts or change the fruit as per your tastes. Use the granola as a sprinkling for fruit compotes or eat with yogurt or milk. If you’re keeping the granola for a couple of weeks, it’s best to use oil rather than butter and properly dried fruits rather than the ready-to-eat dried fruits.

Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
50g melted butter, or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for a healthier version
3 tablespoons runny honey, preferably Manuka
3 tablespoons apple or orange juice 200g four-grain porridge mix, or rolled oats or a mix of grains
50g flaked almonds
1 heaped tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 heaped tablespoon flaxseeds/linseeds
50g dried apple
50g dried cranberries

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3. In a bowl in the microwave or in a pan on the stove, melt the butter or oil with the honey and fruit juice.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the dried fruit, and stir together until thoroughly combined.
3. Pour onto a shallow baking tray in a layer approximately 2cm deep and place in the oven.
4. Bake for 20–30 minutes or until golden, turning the granola over a couple of times during the baking to ensure that it is evenly toasted (the outer edges tend to brown faster).
5. Remove from the oven when the granola is golden brown and crisp. Stir in the dried fruit, then cool in the tray before transferring to an airtight container.
6. Keep in a cool, dry place.
7. Serve with fresh fruit, yogurt or milk and a sprinkling of chia seeds, if you like.

Variations: Apricot and pecan – add 100g chopped ready-to-eat dried apricots and 75g pecan nuts in place of the almonds and fruit. Raisin and hazelnut – use 50g raisins and 75g hazelnuts in place of the dried fruit and nuts. Maple and nut – swap the honey for maple syrup and replace the fruit with 75g baked pecans

This recipe can be found in Amazing Grains.

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