Almond and cranberry granola

Sunday, February 15, 2009
I was going to keep this recipe to myself, but after a taste test or two, I just couldn't do that to you.......

Granola is another example of something supermarkets can do so badly - they make it taste so bland, old, and, frankly, boring. In fact I've never felt moved to buy any myself - I've sampled various offerings when I have stayed with family but always come away disillusioned.

It wasn't till I caught an article on The Country Monkey in the Foodie magazine in December 2007 that I realised everything could be so different, and it wasn't till I found Nigella's recipe in her book 'Feast' in January that I found what I had been looking for - who can argue with the smell of cinnamon wafting through the kitchen? One word of warning though - like making your own bread, once you make your own granola, there will be no going back.

This recipe has been bookmarked for anyone else who wants to try it on the virtual recipe drawer that is Bookmarked Recipes - your one-stop shop for tried and tested recipes from the food blogger community updated every Monday.

450 g rolled oats
120 g sunflower seeds
120 g white sesame seeds
175 g apple sauce
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
120 g brown rice syrup or rice malt syrup or failing those, golden syrup
4 tbsp honey
100 g light brown sugar
250 g whole natural almonds
1 tsp maldon salt
2 tbsp sunflower oil
300 g raisins
Mix all of this together. Lay out on baking trays and bake at 170 oC for around 40 - 60 minutes depending on your oven. You need to keep turning it around every 10 minutes or so moving the edges where it cooks faster to the middle and then flatten it out again - the object is to get it evenly golden without toasting too much in any one place. Once cooked allow to cool. Store in an airtight container...... if it lasts that long.
Serve with milk or yogurt and honey.

That's the original recipe - of course it's open to adaptation. Ever since I got a free sample of craisins with some food magazine I've been hooked. I exchanged the raisins for craisins. She does say to mix them in after cooking - but I like them baked. I did half the amount of sunflower seeds and half pumpkin seeds (seeds are the way to start the day). I also exchanged the sunflower oil for R-oil.

She also suggests a chocolate version - adding 25g cocoa powder, a peanut version - swap the almonds for skin on peanuts.

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