Granola

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This is a healthy breakfast topped with some thick natural yoghurt and fresh sliced fruit, and is always good splashed with cold milk. It is great to have at home and even serves as an emergency snack. You can use any nuts in place of the walnuts here, and add other ingredients or vary these to your liking. You can make more than the amounts given here and keep it in an airtight container or glass jar — but remember before baking it that it needs to be spread out in a flat, fairly thin layer on your trays.

Ingredients

  • 200 g(7 oz) quick-cooking oats
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 50 g( oz) shelled walnuts, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon or ground allspice
  • 80 g( oz) light brown sugar
  • 125 ml(4 fl oz/½ cup) runny honey
  • 40 g( oz) butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3) and grease two large baking trays. Put the oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts and cinnamon in a bowl. Put the sugar, honey and butter in a pan and heat, stirring, until the butter has melted. Pour over the oat mixture in the bowl and mix well. (I like to do this with my hands and then get the children to take over, but you can mash it around with a wooden spoon, if you like, until it feels like wet sticky sand.)

Put half the mixture on each baking tray, spreading it out and then pressing it into a thin layer. Put both trays in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Turn the mixture over with a spoon and return the trays to the oven, the bottom one now on the top. Bake for another 15–20 minutes, or just until the granola is deep golden, turning it again during this time to give it an even colour and break it up slightly (although it’s nice if a few clustery bits remain). Take care not to overcook it, as just a bit past perfect can make it taste bitter. Turn off the oven and leave it in for another 10 minutes or so, then get it out of the oven and leave it to cool completely on the trays. Once cool, this keeps very well in a biscuit tin or something else airtight.