On the days when I want to feel all smug and virtuous, I like to have granola for breakfast. It’s usually downhill after that! No seriously, it’s a great breakfast; so quick, filling and relatively guilt free. The problem I have is getting a granola with no dried fruit in it. I generally really don’t like raisins, sultanas etc. The only one I found is quite expensive and as I am the only one eating it, it goes off before I’m even half way through it. So, when I saw the recipe in Gizzi Erskine’s Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts I knew I had to give it a try. The only fruit mentioned is dried apples and I thought, I can go with that. Nope, turns out I don’t like dried apples either! So I took them out and I think it is perfect. I will include them in the recipe but I personally don’t use them. The recipe is adapted slightly.
I like to have fresh fruit such as strawberries, topped with low fat natural yoghurt and granola. Or if I have less time I mix the yoghurt with a bit of runny honey instead. You can also eat the granola plain with milk, like any breakfast cereal. Here I made the accompanying rhubarb compote from Gizzi’s book. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but it is really good. I halved the recipe for the compote as it makes quite a lot.
To quote the book, “Making your own granola may seem like a pointless faff”. Trust me, it isn’t. It is delicious and you can control exactly what goes into it. A lot of the shop bought ones have a frightening amount of sugar. You should be able to get all of the ingredients in a health shop if they are not in your supermarket. Feel free to play around with the ingredients too.
Makes approx. 750g
- 2 tbsp. rapeseed oil
- 100ml agave nectar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g porridge oats, not the instant kind
- 100g rye flakes
- 25g sunflower seeds
- 25g pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds or linseeds
- 40g chopped pecans
- 35g chopped almonds
- 100g dried apple rings roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 150c/130c fan/gas mark 2.
- Mix the oil, agave nectar, honey, cinnamon, vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Add in all of the remaining ingredients except the apples if you are using them.
- Mix everything really well together and then spread the mixture thinly and evenly on to two baking sheets.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then break up the mixture and stir it around and bake for a further 10 minutes. If you are adding the apples do it after the 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking trays and spread it evenly onto a flat dish to cool. It will crisp up as it cools.
- After it has cooled, pour it into an airtight container and store in a cool dark place. It will keep for up to a month.
- The juice of one large orange
- 1½ tbsp. agave nectar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean extract or ½ vanilla pod split
- 500g rhubarb, trimmed, washed and cut into thin pieces
- Place a pan over a low heat and add the juice, agave nectar and vanilla. Stir until the agave nectar dissolves.
- Add the rhubarb. Bring it to a simmer and then remove from the heat.
- Cover the pan leave it for 10 minutes. The rhubard should break down into the compote. Give it more time if needed.
- Remove the vanilla pod if you used one.
- When cool store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for about 4 days.
Spoon 3 tbsp. of the rhubard compote into a glass or bowl. Top with 125g pot of natural yoghurt, I use Glenisk Low Fat Natural Yoghurt, and about 40g of the granola. Enjoy!