Monday, 2 October 2017

Granola

It's fair to say that I have become somewhat obsessed with making (and subsequently eating) my own granola recently. It's not that it's any cheaper to do it, or obviously any easier than buying a packet from the supermarket (although still very easy), it's just so much more delicious and a surprisingly fleixible platform to be creative with flavour and texture combinations.

All you really need is some oats, a little oil and some sweet syrup and from there you can let your own tastes and temptations take over. In this recipe I've also added some cocoa powder and peanut powder (which is like powdered peanut butter), as well as vanilla and almond extract, but there's no reason why you couldn't go for some spice instead, or some citrus zest or extract. I've also kept it pretty generic with the dried fruit, nuts and seeds but if you prefer things more exotic, feel free to go wild with dried papaya or coconut, banana chips or even a handul of chopped dark chocolate!

Prep time: 15 Mins
Baking time: 25-30 Mins
25ml Rapeseed Oil
75ml Maple Syrup
75ml Runny Honey
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Almond Extract
300g Jumbo Rolled Oats
1tbsp Cocoa Powder
2tbsp Peanut Powder
350g Dried Fruit, Roughly Chopped Nuts and Seeds (I'll leave the ratio up to you

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line a large flat baking tray with baking paper. Add the oil, syrup, honey and extracts to a large, heatproof mixing bowl (it will become apparent why in due course) and stir together. As an aside, although I like the flavour of honey and maple syrup together the main reason I use half and half is because maple syrup is so darn expensive!

Add the oats, powders and any nuts to the wet ingredients, then mix together to combine. Make sure you get right to the bottom of the bowl when doing this. Scatter the mixture over the baking paper and bake in the centre of the oven for around 12-15 minutes.

When the oats are just starting to colour remove them from the oven and tip back into your bowl. Add the seeds and fruit and mix through. Scatter evenly again over the baking paper and return to the oven for a further 12-15 minutes, until the oats and nuts are a toasty golden brown.

Once you're happy the granola is baked leave to cool on the tray, before tipping into an airtight container. It should keep for a fair few weeks like that, not that it ever lasts that long in my house!

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