I love breakfast. And I love eating granola for breakfast more than almost anything else. My most devoted and eagle-eyed readers (hi, Mum) will notice that I have already posted a granola recipe, albeit 6 months ago. Given my pretty all-consuming love of granola, I can’t get enough of experimenting with different combinations of ingredients until I get it right. I decided to give the Pecan and Maple Syrup granola that I made before another try. I guess this could be called ‘recipe development’, and is something that I should probably do more of, rather than just chucking random amounts of things together and hoping it works out.
One of the main motivations for making this particular batch of granola was my recent discovery of the many uses for coconut oil. This miracle ingredient can be used both as a remarkably effective facial cleanser, and to cook with, leaving me with the rather pressing dilemma of whether to keep it in the bathroom or the kitchen. I’ve opted for the kitchen, and resorted to occasionally delving into the jar with a cotton pad to smear some on my face. As well as being a delicious start to stir-frys and curries, coconut oil can also be used to make granola. Deliciously crunchy granola at that. My previous recipe used sunflower oil and apple juice, leaving the granola slightly too soggy. The coconut oil helps everything to dry out and crisp up, and perfumes everything with a pleasant coconutty aroma.
I accidentally over-bought on fruit this week. I always get a bit overexcited at the fruit and veg shop in late summer, as it seems as though the days I’ve got left to gorge myself on all the lovely summer fruits are dwindling rapidly. I don’t usually manage to consume 6 nectarines in the brief five minute window that they’re ripe, but I always forget this and buy them anyway. So I decided to make use of their slightly under-ripe state by poaching them until soft in a vanilla and honey syrup. The combination of crunchy granola, tart yoghurt and the silky, sweet nectarines is, as they say in Bristol, ‘gert lush’.
For the granola:
150g rolled oats
100g mixed nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews)
a handful sunflower/pumpkin seeds
50g dried cranberries/raisins
1tbsp coconut oil (if solid, melt in the microwave for 20 seconds, until liquid)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp honey
For the nectarines:
2 slightly under-ripe nectarines
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 150C. Spread the oats out on a baking tray and toast for 15 minutes. Stir in the nuts and seeds, and put back in the oven for 10 minutes. Whisk together the oils and honey, and mix into the granola, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the mix, until golden brown and fairly dry. Leave to cool, then store in an airtight jar.
For the nectarines, chop the nectarines in half and prise out the stone. Roughly chop into pieces, then put into a pan along with 100ml water, the vanilla and honey. Simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half, the juice is syrupy, and the nectarines are soft.
Serve the granola with thick Greek yoghurt, topped with the nectarines and a drizzle of the syrupy juice.