Granola is expensive to buy and costs far less to make at home – and you can also measure the amount of sugar you add. Play around with this basic recipe: change the fresh blueberries to dried sliced apricots (add them after baking the granola); substitute cashews with chopped pistachios and use a flavoured honey or maple syrup instead of runny honey. Spice it up with a pinch of cinnamon or a few crushed cardamom seeds. Store it in a Kilner jar so it looks pretty and stays fresh.
300g pinhead oatmeal (not quick-cook oats)
70g shredded coconut
100g slivered almonds
60g demerara sugar
60ml runny honey or maple syrup
50ml rapeseed oil
Pinch sea salt
120g fresh blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1/2.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (except the blueberries) and mix with clean hands or a large spoon. Spread the granola onto baking trays (you’ll need two) and bake, turning it every so often to ensure even browning. When it is lightly golden all over – 40-50 minutes – remove the trays, add the blueberries and mix. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the blueberries are soft.
Granola Recipe notes and variations
– If you use dried cranberries, chopped apricots, raisins, sultanas or any other dried fruit, just mix it into the granola when it is cool. That means that if someone doesn’t like dried fruit, you can separate out a batch for them, and add the fruit to the balance.
– Add a sprinkling of granola to your favourite smoothie mix and whizz: it’s a good way of eating oats without noticing.
– Use pinhead or rolled oatmeal for granola: it hasn’t been over-processed so it is more nutritious and has more texture. The quick porridge or quick oats won’t work.
– Store the granola in a kilner jar (it makes it look like you bought it from an upscale deli) or sealed container so it doesn’t go soft. You can also make up jars to give to friends.
– You can also sweeten the granola with agave syrup or Xylitol, both healthy alternatives to sugar. Use just a tablespoon or two of Xylitol as it is very sweet and make sure you don’t give the granola to any animal as Xylitol is poisonous for dogs and cats (and any other pet you or your offspring would give granola to!).