A Simple Granola

This is a granola that, I’m sure, if given the opportunity, could be the answer to every conceivable problem you could ever conceivably have. Peckish? – granola. Travelling? – granola? Breakfast? – granola. Dessert? – granola. Snacktime? – granola. You get the idea.

I was inspired to make this the day before we left for Sydney. As we’re on a budget, and vegetarians, and don’t like eating things that mostly consist of air, taking some of our own snacks seemed like a really good idea (also super easy to do when flying domestically). We had handfuls when we were peckish and out and about on the streets. We even had it with sliced banana and raspberries for a picnic breakfast in Victoria Park one morning. It was that good, even the seagulls were interested.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve enjoyed it on top of yoghurt, with blueberries. And without yoghurt and just the blueberries. And just by itself. Granola/pre-toasted muesli is an item so commonly (and often) purchased, which is sad considering how easy, quick and satisfying it is to make. I’ve adapted this recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day, which is probably the most-used cookbook in our kitchen – I’ve tweaked the quantities and ingredients a bit, but the basics are pretty much the same.

On a side note:

Granola

makes about 5 cups

This is a granola that has just enough ‘bits’ – nuts, seeds, fruit, coconut – and just enough oats, to keep me happy and full for a good amount of time. It can be easily doubled (just use two rimmed baking sheets and swap them half way through to get even cooking). And lends itself to near-infinite variations. This is the one I like – if you think you’ll like it a little different, follow your instinct. A few suggestions: walnuts, dried cranberries, and orange zest instead of the lemon; marcona almonds and raisins; pecans, sultanas, and maple syrup instead of honey. You could also change-up the grain as well: rolled rye and spelt would work excellently I’m sure. And then you can go down the spices route – oh my! The only dried fruit I’d steer clear of are goji berries – because they’re not juicy to start with, they tend to burn and crisp a bit too much here.

  • 200 g rolled oats
  • 170 g raw, unsalted nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc)
  • 60 g desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 85 g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 1/3-1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 150ºC, with a rack in the bottom.

Combine oats, nuts, coconut, salt, dried fruit, and zest in a large mixing bowl.

Heat butter over low heat until melted, then add honey and whisk until well combined.

Add honey mixture to oat mixture and stir for at least thirty seconds, until everything is well-coated. Tip onto a rimmed baking sheet, spreading the mixture to form a single layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes in the bottom rack, until deeply golden (keep an eye on it in the last 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn).

Remove the tray from the oven and press down on the granola with the back of a wooden spoon or a metal spatula (this creates clumps). All to cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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