It might just be us but hungry tween boys and separate school schedules does not make for happy mornings! And while we would love to have time for protein-packed eggs every day, sometimes it just isn’t possible. Crunchy, satisfying granola is always a winner, but store bought versions can be so full of sugar that we are not having the healthy start we want.
So in an attempt to keep the sugary cereals firmly on the shelf, and move everyone through the morning rituals swiftly and smoothly, we have found a true winner.
Granola is always a big hit for us, but it can be expensive to buy a decent kind and hard to find something with less sugar (seriously!) than a small bowl of chocolate crispy cakes.
Here at Real Places we’ve discovered that granola is something we Really Love. And yes, we’ve had a stab at a few recipes. So after much trial and error we are sharing with you our nutritionally-pumped, super quick granola. It’s a hack because we let someone else do the hard work with the oats and the grains, which saves a surprising amount of shopping time!
This makes enough to feed a family of four daily with yoghurt and fruit. But if you have hungry boys or are if you like a large portion to start the day, allow four days’ supply from this.
We left it cooling in the kitchen overnight, the boys considered it fair game for Sunday morning snacks as it was not in the jar and labelled… as you can see there was not much left!
You will need:
500g good quality muesli (rolled oats, wheat flakes, include a variety with wheatgerm and seeds if you want extra protein)
1-2 teacups large raisins, the flame variety are especially good
1 teacup desiccated coconut
1 teacup ground almonds
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (adjust according to your taste)
1 teacup local blossom honey melted in a very large pan with 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and ½ cup olive oil or butter
Super quick granola:
Mix cinnamon through muesli mix to distribute it well.
When honey and butter is melted, tip in muesli and stir vigorously. You want to coat all the oats with the wet mix and the mix should be fairly dry. If it feels too wet and sticky, just shake in a bit more muesli.
Sprinkle ground almonds over the mix, followed by the coconut and raisins and mix well.
Tip onto a large melamine tray or a roasting tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to cool.
When cool, pack into a clean, dry jar with a tight seal.
This will keep for about a week if not on a windowsill or somewhere else that it is in dry sunlight.
We love: to serve this with seasonal fruit and Trewithen yoghurt. And on the rare occasions there is some left at the end of the week we turn it into flapjacks for the next week’s packed lunches.
Ring the changes:
This is a slightly softer mix than store bought granola and is definitely what the children prefer. But if you want something with a bigger bite, cook on the middle shelf of a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
Vary the fruit for an instant makeover: we like sour cherries or cranberries with chocolate in the winter, or chopped dates soaked in orange juice.
For a summer taste add in 1 dessert spoon of elderflower cordial instead of the vanilla – this is especially good with a nutty mix instead of fruit and lemon yoghurt.
Granola is a great way to experiment and use up the tail end of ingredients that might not have an obvious use after a baking session: nuts, seeds, linseed, apricots, chocolate chips have all been tried and enjoyed!