Breakfast at my desk 2: Granola

My last batch of muesli ran out last week. It lasted longer than expected because of holidays and a few emergency starbucks visits (a coffee and a blueberry muffin have been breakfast at my desk more times than I want to think about), but once the batch ran out I felt like I’d got bored with the soft oat flakes and wanted something crunchier and a bit more flavoursome, so of course I made some granola.

I first made this one New Year about 3 years ago, when we had visitors and I made this epic breakfast banquet of granola, pancakes with blueberry syrup, three cheese and onion strata with bacon and pear and ginger muffins (I LOVE BREAKFAST). I still make it fairly regularly though, and at work it’s a lifesaver because not only do I eat it for breakfast but I also munch on it in its raw form throughout the day.

The recipe is Andy’s Fairfield Granola from Nigella’s Feast (surprise surprise) and yeah, it’s a little more effort than the muesli and it does use a lot of ingredients, although I find I generally have everything but the apple sauce in the house anyway. You can mix it up with whatever fruit you like, I often use dried cranberries which are brilliant with it (but I would say that because I have a pretty bad obsession with them), but I would always use sultanas instead of raisins because I just like them better. I like to pretend to myself that it’s healthy, although with the amount of sugar and syrup it’s probably not. Once I accidentally left the sugar out because I weighed it out but left it on the scales. It was actually nicer as sometimes I find it a little too sweet for morning, and so now I add less sugar.

Andy’s Fairfield Granola

450g rolled oats

120g sunflower seeds

120g white sesame seeds

175g apple compote or apple sauce

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

120g brown rice syrup or rice malt syrup, or failing that, golden syrup

4 tablespoons clover honey or other runny honey

100g light brown sugar

250g whole natural almonds

1 teaspoon Maldon salt

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

300g raisins

The method is really simple. Just put everything (except the raisins) in a large bowl and mix really thoroughly.  Press the mixture onto a baking tray (it will probably fill two), and bake in an oven heated to 170C for about 30 minutes depending on how hot your oven is. Halfway through cooking, flip it over so that it browns evenly (this is no easy task believe me, I advise NOT doing it near the edge of the work surface because a lot will fall on the floor!), and when it’s done leave it to cool, then break into crunchy clusters and mix it with the fruit of your choice. Serve with milk or yoghurt, or just eat it as it is. Yum!