If you have never made granola at home, there are two things you should know.
1. It tastes just as good as the stuff you buy in the shops.
2. It’s ridiculously cheap and quick to make. Once you start making it at home, you’ll goggle at the mark-up on the ready-made stuff.
I made a giant batch in the evening. In the morning, I filled a jam jar with summer fruits, Alpro vanilla pouring yoghurt and honey nut granola…
…and gave it to my husband to take to work. Then I made up a giant tiffin of the stuff for me. (HA!)
I was going to serve it up in the kilner jar, but realised it was easier to pour the yoghurt straight onto the fruit in the tiffin, the granola onto the yoghurt, and then to cram the lot into my cakehole. Yes, my fondness for this breakfast veers on the shameless.
So let’s start with the fruit. Here we have blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries. For the best deal, don’t buy these fresh. With the exception of the blueberries, which seem to be on offer all year round (the fresh ones I’ve been using for previous deskfests cost £2 for a large tub from Morrisons), these are expensive to buy fresh – particularly at this time of year. Instead, head to the freezer aisle and pick up a carton of frozen fruit, the size of an ice cream tub, for around £1.50. The berries in my deskfest came out of a summer fruits tub: I popped a bowlful in the fridge the night before, and by the morning they were defrosted. When they defrost, they are slightly more soggy than their fresh equivalents. But that makes them perfect for a breakfast dish like this one.
The Alpro vanilla pouring yoghurt needs no explanation; like the plain pouring yoghurt I used for Bread Bhurji, the £1 price point compares favourably to the dairy versions.
And so to the granola. The ingredients are all cheap: that runny, economy-brand honey is just right for this recipe. Porridge oats, sugar and water cost next to nothing. The mixed, chopped nuts are probably the most expensive ingredients: 75g is about half of one of the little bags from the home baking section, and works out at about 35p.
- 250g porridge oats (about half a bag)
- 75g chopped, mixed nuts (about half a bag)
- 5 tbsp runny honey
- 5 tbsp sugar (any will do)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 120'C / Gas Mark 2.
- Add all the ingredients except the porridge oats and nuts to a mixing bowl. Mix.
- Add the porridge oats and nuts. Mix.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased oven tray. Spread to the edges.
- Bake for one hour, stirring up every 15 minutes. This is to stop the granola from turning into flapjacks. After one hour, the granola should be golden brown.
- When it has cooled, store the granola in an airtight container.
If you need to cut corners, or simply bulk out your quantity of granola, here’s a tip: add a few handfuls of crushed, economy-brand cornflakes 15 minutes before you take the granola out of the oven.
If you want to go in the other direction and elevate your granola to something more fancy, don’t buy anything special. Just rummage through the back of your home baking shelf or cupboard. You’ll find something there, I guarantee you. I found a quarter of a bag of flaked almonds. They were still in date (just), but I had no idea how long they had been there for, or what I had bought them for in the first place. Into the mixing bowl they went. If there is nothing in the home baking cupboard, try adding a dollop of peanut butter to the granola mixture.
A final word of warning: the quantity of granola in the recipe above makes enough to fill a shallow oven tray to overflowing.