Step away from the cereal aisle: granola is absurdly easy to make, and at a fraction of the cost of the packet stuff. Not only is it cheap and stupidly easy to make at home, but you can put exactly what you like in it, too. Not a fan of raisins? Bin them. Mad on macadamia nuts? Chuck in a whole bag.
Prep 5-10 min
Cook 30-35 min
Makes 1 large jar
170g jumbo rolled oats
170g grain of your choice (eg, spelt, barley or rye flakes), or double the amount of oats
250g mixed nuts and coconut shavings, roughly chopped
50g pumpkin seeds (or seeds of your choice)
40g coconut oil
½-1½ tsp flaked salt (optional)
1 generous pinch ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger or cardamom (optional)
1 large egg white
80-100g mixed dried fruit of your choice
1 Tip your base grains into a large bowl
Rolled oats are the classic choice here, and tend to work out cheapest, but I like to mix in other grains, too, to make the texture and taste more interesting. Feel free to experiment with whatever you find in the health food shop: rye, buckwheat, barley, even quinoa will all work well.
2 Mix in the seeds and nuts
Stir to spread out – again, use your own choice of seeds, nuts and coconut shavings, but make sure you roughly chop any large nuts or you’ll end up with a few very nutty clusters. If you’d prefer to keep your granola nut-free, just skip this stage.
3 Melt together the coconut oil and honey
Put the fat (you could also use olive or sunflower oil, or nut butter) in a small pan over a low heat with the honey (or golden, maple or any other syrup) and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve melted together. Don’t be tempted to cut out this stage; without sugar or fat, this won’t be granola, but muesli.
4 Stir together
Pour the warm oil and honey into the bowl with the grains, nuts and seeds, and stir to combine. I also like to add a little salt at this stage, although this is entirely optional, as is a generous pinch of a sweet, warming spice such as ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.
5 Beat an egg white until frothy
Separate an egg and put the white in a medium bowl (keep the yolk for mayo). Beat it with a whisk until frothy, then toss with the grains and seeds until they’re well coated. This step is optional, but it will make the granola extra crunchy. And it won’t taste of egg, I promI promise.
6 Line a tray
Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/335F/gas mark 3½. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, sticking it down at the corners with a blob of oil or honey. Tip the granola mixture on to the paper and spread it out well, making sure the nuts and seeds are evenly distributed.
7 Bake until golden
Put the tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes in total. While the granola is cooking, stir it every now and then, so it cooks evenly and to break up any large clumps. If you’d prefer a more free-pouring texture, break them all up regularly.
Don’t worry if the granola seems very soft when it comes out of the oven – it will crisp up as it comes down to room temperature. Use all your self-control to leave it to cool undisturbed on the baking tray before adding the remaining ingredients.
Scatter over some dried fruit (I like a mix of sweet stuff such as chopped dates and apricots, and sour cherries and cranberries) and any toffee chunks, chocolate chips or other indulgences that help ease you into your morning. Pour the granola into an airtight container to store. Serve with yoghurt, fruit or milk – or in handfuls straight from the jar.