Oh breakfast, oh breakfast, how I love you…
Those of you who have read previous posts will know my obsession with breakfast. It is easily my favourite meal of the day, and I realise that’s probably not a common vote. In my mind, there is nothing more satisfying than crunchy, oaty, cereal-y deliciousness, generously accompanied with either milk or thick, creamy Greek yoghurt. Then, to top things off, a handful of blueberries, strawberries or a chopped banana and plenty of honey (or golden syrup if it’s the weekend. I like to push the boat out once in a while.)
I am also not ashamed to admit to the huge quantities of breakfast I munch on. A HUGE bowl of cereal, granola or porridge. Nothing less will do. I have a friend who likes to mix a bowl with a variety of 2, 3 even 4 different cereals, but I am purist. Give me muesli, give me crunchy granola, abundant with chunky nuts and seeds and other tasty goodness. But mix them? Oh no.
Most mornings, I am a cereal or porridge kinda gal. Now I am not adverse to a little eggs and bacon once in a while. But mostly, when I wake up, I crave the FRESHNESS that only oats and fruit will bring. But once or twice a week, I will dive into the granola jar. Imagine my dismay when this week, on one such morning, the granola jar was empty! Only the powdered dust remained. This is when I made the approvingly wholesome decision to make my own.
This was one of my easiest recipes to concoct so far. Maybe I fancy myself a sort of cereal/granola connoisseur. Either way, I know exactly what I like when it comes to granola. The chunkier, the nuttier, the more packed full of good things, the better. I excitedly pulled out of my cupboard my collection of nutty, seedy things. I deliberated over the walnuts, agonised over the pistachios, pondered over the dried apricots, but eventually I came to a decision.
Pecans and cranberries I know are a good mix. Dates and honey, also. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds I like. Would they work together?
The answer is yes. Beautifully so. Pecans are a little pricey, but their gorgeous aroma and texture in this granola is worth it. The sticky dates work so well with the sweet honey. The cranberries add a little tang. However, as I usually blather on about, this is yet another recipe which is wonderfully adaptable. No pecans? No matter, throw in brazil nuts. No cranberries? Raisins will do fine. Don’t get hung up about the exact ingredients; whatever you have in your cupboard will probably be absolutely fine.
Embrace the diversity!
Eating granola is fun. What toppings will you choose? My preference is thick, creamy Greek yoghurt. Natural yoghurt is also delicious. Personally, I stay away from the flavoured yoghurts as I feel it detracts from the subtle flavours in the granola.
Next to the fruit! This particular recipe would probably be best with chopped banana, although mine were looking a little shady at the time which is why I plumped for blueberries for the photo shoot.
Finally, for storage, choose a nice, big jar and seal tightly. This granola will last you all through the week and beyond! I am all in favour of big batch cooking. I promise you, you will feel so full of smug wholesomeness as you munch your way though homemade granola on Monday morning.
On another note, I am full of anticipation as tomorrow I am going to Christchurch Food and Wine Festival! The girls and I are going for foodie fun and exploration through the foodie markets – Artisan markets, an Italian market, many local food traders and cooking demonstrations, including from Lesley Walters and Cyrus Todiwala from the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.
Foodie bliss awaits!
In the meantime, enjoy your morning granola!
- 60g butter
- 70ml honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g pecans
- 50g flaked almonds
- 25g sunflower seeds
- 25g pumpkin seeds
- 250g rolled oats
- 100g medjool dates, chopped
- 50g dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 140 deg C (fan)
- Melt the butter and honey in a large saucepan. Add the vanilla extract.
- Mix in the nuts, seeds and oats and coat everything well.
- Spread in a large baking tray and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden. Stir oats halfway through cooking to ensure even roasting.
- When cool, stir in the dried fruit.
- Serve with thick Greek yoghurt, chopped banana or fresh seasonal fruit and a drizzle of honey (optional)