I was sent Breakfast for Dinner, a breakfast-themed cookbook written by two US bloggers Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth of Love and Olive Oil. It’s a beautiful looking, hardback book (available to win in March 2013 just by Liking/Sharing my Facebook page!), filled with recipes that have some breakfasty element: be it eggs; bacon; fruit etc. Plus twists on breakfast classics: heuvos rancheros; muffins; pancakes etc. The idea being that you can enjoy breakfast / brunch type meals at anytime of day.
The recipe that stood out to me as the one to try first was ‘Basic Granola’. I really like granola but, aside from that very sugary ‘crunch’ type cereal you find in the supermarkets, it is very expensive to buy the good stuff. It can cost up to £6 for a box of 500g! Making granola for the first time has been revelatory for me. I was shocked at how easy it was, how cheap it was and, most importantly, how amazing it tasted homemade! It is mega healthy too, with only 2 tablespoons of honey required to sweeten a huge batch. I really urge you to try this. I am slightly loathe to call it, as they have, Basic Granola (it is what the recipe is called in the book) as it is anything but. So I’ve tried to be more descriptive! They also have a recipe for Granola Cookies, which I will make using this stuff and post soon.
I enjoyed this for about a week as breakfast, adding sultanas and pouring over milk (as did the toddler, who loved it); and as a snack with blueberries, banana and yoghurt (pictured left). I had to stop myself from eating all of it, as I want to make the aforementioned cookies! I think I eeeever so slightly over toasted it, but I really like it toasty so it’s fine. But even so next time I would keep even closer an eye on it whilst it roasts to get a slightly less toasty result. I reduced the cooking time a lot, so you may want to as well. I think it depends on how large your roasting tray or tin is (therefore affecting how large a surface area the amount is covering) – and how voracious your oven. As you can see my tray is huge (and my oven is fierce), hence the roasting time was greatly reduced.
This granola keeps for about 4 weeks in an airtight jar. It won’t last that long though I predict. As it’s an American book I include the US measurements (I have some ‘cups’ so I can use these) but I also measured them out in metric too. By the way, in case you were wondering, cup measurements differ depending on what the ingredient is, so a cup of oats doesn’t weigh the same as a cup of seeds for example.
Makes: a large kilner jarful
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
300g (4 cups) of porridge oats (use good quality ones, jumbo oats are good)
150g (1 cup) of sunflower seeds
80g (1 cup) of desiccated or flaked coconut
120g (1 cup) roughly chopped mixed nuts (pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 generous tablespoons (3/4) cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons (1/4 cup) canola oil (I used sunflower, basically you need a flavourless oil)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 160C. Line a large baking sheet or roasting tray with foil and brush it lightly with sunflower or another plain oil.
- In a large bowl, mix oats, seeds, coconut, nuts, salt.
- In a heatproof jug or bowl, heat the oil, honey, salt and vanilla extract in a microwave (or on the hob) until bubbling, about 45 seconds.
- Pour this mixture over dry ingredients and toss to coat.
- Spread the mixture evenly and roast for anytime from 15 – 45 minutes. I did mine for about 20 minutes, but it could have come out earlier. Every five minutes or so, take out the granola and flip it all with a fish slice or similar. You want to cook it as evenly as possible. And break up any its that chunk up (although not too much, as they are very tasty).