Pecan and Maple Syrup Granola

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The last few weeks have been oddly chaotic, given that I now don’t have a job. I have been frantically trying to fill my time – visiting friends in London and Brighton, and my Dad in Cornwall- so I don’t get too bored. I have also started looking for a place to live in Bristol, which involves rushing up at a moment’s notice to do a house viewing. I now understand that thing retired people say about not knowing how they ever had time to work.

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On the odd day where I’ve not got anything else planned, I work on a blog post. I’ve really enjoyed taking more time over them. This one, for instance, was the product of an afternoon set aside specially to play with a new ‘prop’: a piece of slate. It’s not quite big enough to be a full background on its own, so I laid it on a chair, then arranged things on top. It’s surprisingly difficult to make pecans look like they have been casually scattered– whatever configuration I arranged them in seemed to look, well, arranged.

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I am an avid granola fan, consuming it for breakfast almost every day. I pair it with some thick greek yoghurt, and sometimes some chopped banana. I keep expecting to get bored of it, but when I vary my breakfast by having toast, a little part of me wishes I were eating granola. So I thought it was high time I tried making some.  There are no rules here – feel free to add any combination of nuts and seeds that you fancy. The maple syrup can be substituted for something else syrupy, such as honey, agave syrup, golden syrup or date syrup (actually, I might try that one next time..).

granola

Makes about 500g

200g rolled oats (as opposed to the very powdery porridge oats)

100ml apple juice

3 tbsp maple syrup

40g flaked almonds

50g pecan halves

40g raisins

20g sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 140C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl, then spread on the baking tray. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown. It helps to crumble up the mixture a few times during cooking, to help it separate out. Leave to cool, then store in jars.

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