My granola addiction is of very, VERY recent date. In California for Jill & Michael’s wedding in April, I wandered into a café on Calistoga’s main street looking for something breakast-y. There wasn’t much on the menu, bar a bowl of granola, so I ordered it. I dislike a lot of sweetened food, especially at breakfast, and I especially abhor dried fruit in anything other than fruit cakes and Hot Cross Buns (I know, I’m odd), so I prepared to grit my teeth, hoping the grains would soften and I could chew on through.
Imagine my surprise when I thoroughly enjoyed my bowl of granola. I have been eating raw oats in my home made muesli for years, eschewing any commercial brands, and never thought it needed improving. But this was unsweetened, a huge surprise to me, and now that I have worked out how to make my own, I am eating it every morning.
Look at this! SMUG doesn’t even start to describe my pleasure at my very own Kilner jar full of LLG-home-made granola.
It’s so super duper easy to make I defy anyone to f*ck it up. The only margin for error is if you get carried away elsewhere and forget to remove it from the oven…my secret ingredient is Elderflower cordial, which gives an elusive floral note. (Apple juice is just as good if you can’t get Elderflower.)
To make it even simpler, I just used a 750gm packet of the Food Doctor’s Multigrain & Seed Porridge mix. I live in a London apartment — there’s no room to store large bags of nuts, seeds & grains. (I only make a jar or so at a time as I want maximum crispiness.)
Simply take a large mixing bowl and add and your box of grains, adding your own extra combination of seeds & nuts to take the total weight up to 1000gms/1kg. I like to add more sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nibbed hazelnuts (I had some left over from making my Nutella Palmier recipe) Chia seeds and some ground flaxseed.
In a small saucepan, heat up the honey, agave nectar, maple syrup & water. (You have to have some stickiness to bind together the grains.) Then I add either elderflower cordial or organic dry apple juice.
When it’s all warm and flowing nicely, simply pour over your grain mixture, forming it into clumps with your hands. Clumps are good as they give you extra crunch. If you eat a bit & it tastes quite sweet, do not worry — that sweetness disappears upon cooking. It should smell like warm hamster cage.
Scoop it all out onto a couple of large flat baking trays, squishing it in your hands, making sure it has lots of little clumps and balls. Then bake in a preheated oven for about 35 mins at about 120C. Every ten minutes or so take it out, & shake it about so that it browns evenly. I prefer mine quite brown so it’s really crunchy, so I recommend tasting as you go to see what you prefer. (You may find you need to bake a third batch, as it’s important not too have too thick a layer so it crisps properly.)
That’s it. Leave it on the tray to cool and then scoop into an airtight jar. I like Kilner jars for attractiveness AND ease of use. Plus they look great in my kitchen.
I like to eat mine with yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast.
1kg of mixed grains & seeds. (I use a 750g mixed box of Oat Flakes, Barley Flakes, Spelt Flakes, Toasted Rye Flakes, Chicory Inulin, Golden Linseeds, & Sunflower Seeds.)
I made up the other 250gms with:
2dsps Chia seeds
3 dsps ground flaxseed
1 cup (approx 65gm) sunflower seeds
1 cup (approx 70gm) nibbed hazelnuts
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup of either elderflower cordial (for a sweeter granola) or organic apple juice (less sweet)
1 dsp maple syrup
2 dsps agave syrup
1 dsp runny honey
(I have a Whole Foods on my doorstep, so it’s easy for me to find these slightly esoteric ingredients: you could absolutely use all runny honey if that’s what you have in the cupboard.)