This week (Jan 25th) is National Breakfast Week! It’s a campaign run by the HGCA on behalf of Britain’s arable farmers who grow crops such as wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast and showcase the wealth of wonderful breakfast produce available around the country. Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day because it provides us with the energy and nutrients we need for an active lifestyle and, big plus, breakfast eaters tend to be slimmer than breakfast skippers!
So, here’s my contribution to support our wonderful cereal farmers: my home made Golden Granola recipe – more delicious and cheaper than any of the premium brands you can buy in a supermarket. A big jar like the one below is enough for one person to eat a 2 tablespoon serving with milk and fruit for a couple of weeks. A real benefit of making your own breakfast cereal is that you can control the amount of sugar you use and mix your own favourite blends of seeds, fruit and nuts. I eat mine with dairy or almond milk, natural yoghurt and a handful of fresh berries. Definitely gets me going in the morning!
You will need…
- 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons of runny honey
- Optional: 2 tablespoons of light muscovado sugar (I prefer mine without the extra sugar, adding flavour and sweetness with fruit juice and honey)
- 2 tablespoons of fruit juice – lemon, apple or pineapple juice work well
- 350g Jumbo oats. You could substitute spelt or wheat flakes for some of the oats to ring the changes
- 120g chopped nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios – whatever you prefer
- 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- A couple of pinches of sea salt
- Optional: 150g mixed dried fruit such as sour cherries, chopped dried apricot, chopped dates, golden sultanas and raisins
- Preheat the oven to 140º C. The granola takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 2 hours to toast in the oven.
- Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in the mixing bowl except the dried fruit.
- Place a sheet of baking parchment onto a shallow baking tray.
- Lay the granola mixture on the baking sheet and spread it out so it’s flat and even.
- Place the tray in the oven on the centre shelf and allow it to toast very, very slowly for up to a couple of hours.
- Check it occasionally to ensure that it is cooking evenly and not burning. It will smell heavenly!
- Once it looks nice and golden, remove from the oven and leave it cool.
- Once cooled, place in a large clip top jar or an airtight plastic box (a clean, empty, two litre plastic ice cream carton is just the right size) and mix in the dried fruit if you’re using it.