A breakfast fit for… well, me

Almost every morning for breakfast I have a bowl of something oaty: porridge or muesli or granola. In the case of the latter two, I have it with stewed apple (yes, I’m still eating bottled apples) and homemade yoghurt. My favourite sorts of muesli are the ones where the grains are toasted, but no matter what brand or variety I buy, there is always at least one ingredient that I’m not keen on… very hard dried apricot in one (I’d like it if it was soft) and an excess of fat raisins in another. Granola is better as there are types that only contain seeds or nuts and seeds, but they tend to be very expensive. So, the other day I decided that I should find some recipes for granola and make my own, after all it’s only broken-up crunchy flapjack.

Halfway through cooking - personalised granola

Halfway through cooking – personalised granola

Granola is not something we make much in the UK, so almost all the recipes I could find were American, but this is fine because I have a set of volumetric cup measures. I trawled through recipes, rejecting them for exactly the same reasons that I reject ready-made breakfast cereals – ingredients that I don’t much like – before I realised that it didn’t matter. All I needed, in fact, was a recipe that gave me an idea of the relative proportions of dry ingredients (oats, seeds, nuts, sugar etc) to wet ones (oil and syrup). The one I settled on had approximately 3 cups oats, 3 cups seeds/nuts, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup syrup and 1/4 cup oil plus 1 cup dried fruit added at the end. Basically, you mix everything up together (except the fruit) and bake it in a cool oven for an hour and fifteen minutes, stirring it four or five times during the cooking. I warmed the syrup before mixing to make it more runny and easier to handle (I used golden syrup).

Because I wanted only to use ingredients that I like, I just took them out of the store cupboard. So, in addition to the oats, my granola contains cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds (which I grew myself) and Shipton Mill five  seed mix (malted wheat flakes, barley flakes, sunflower seeds, millet and oats). I completely forgot, but I also have homegrown poppy seeds that I could have added… I’ll use some of those next time. After cooking I added chopped dates. Now I have a breakfast cereal completely tailored to me.

It’s just cooling as I write, but already I can tell you it tastes delicious. In the future I will aim to increase the proportion of homegrown ingredients, but I’m already quite pleased with my first attempt.

-oOo-

And a little addition following some discussion on Facebook… as well as adapting the dry ingredients to your taste, there’s no reason to stick with golden syrup (I used it because I had some in the store cupboard). You could try honey, maple syrup, yacon syrup (you can grow yacon in the UK so you could make your own) or whatever you fancy. And you can change the quantities. All you need to do is coat the dry ingredients, so warming the syrup to make it thinner means you can use less, or you can water it down if you want something less sweet. I should note that I used a dark raw sugar in mine, which is less sweet than granulated sugar and adds a different flavour. Oh, and I guess you could use molasses if you fancy instead of syrup. Really, the point is that this is not so much a recipe as a pointer towards experimentation.

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15 Comments

  1. Lovely that you are making your own granola. I would probably eat it all, warm from the oven!. Great as a snack, mixed in with a crumble topping. Your very own bespoke granola! PERFECT!-Karen.

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    • I’m not sure why I’ve never thought to do it before… it’s one of the few ‘processed’ things that I still buy. And I’m really chuffed that I can use homegrown things in it too. I am, however, having to restrain myself from just munching my way through it!

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  2. Yummy! We like making our own granola bars, too. Great for road trips and things. 🙂 Oh, we also make our own trail mix…that way we can use slavery-free chocolate and not have to pick around all of those icky raisins. 😀

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  3. Sounds well tailored to your tastes. Will it keep well?
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  4. Homemade granola is the best. My favorite wet ingredient is a mixture of fruit juice and honey. I’ve been using a blueberry/pomagrante/cranberry juice mixture with the honey and it’s heavenly. It doesn’t make the granola taste fruity, just sweetness and a little bit sour. It does have to be in the oven longer, but it’s worth it.

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  5. What a great idea – and being able to make it exactly to your own taste means no waste, either 🙂
    I think the problem in our house, is that it wouldn’t last as long as it should do! Lol

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  6. How on earth would you process the yacon to get syrup?! I have yacon growing for the first time this year and am bamboozled as to how to process them. I reckon I am just going to eat the tubers (if any actually grew) raw as they are apparently like crunchy sweet fruity goodness. I guess you could grate them and dry them and use the dried wizened up little husky bits in granola? I make a sort of weird granola (I don’t use sugar) out of date paste and buckwheat and the pulp that I make my sesame milk with and other things (for “other things” read whatever I have in the pantry at the time). Tastes delicious to me but might not be everyone elses cup of tea. Love the look of yours and the fact that you are making it yourself so you get to put everything that you love into it and it is STILL cheaper than shop bought 🙂

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    • I have a friend who made yacon syrup last year… I will ask her how she did it and report back!

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      • Yes please 🙂 I was thinking about dehydrating them but even though they would be sweet, dehydrated roots are not all that appetising (well not to me anyway 😉 )

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