what’s cooking? granola to turn boxed cereal lovers

My husband, Ben, is a cereal fanatic. He has been known, when I was out of town for work, to eat cereal for four consecutive meals. Cheerios, strawberry Special K, Raisin Bran and anything else that looked good in the aisle of alluring brightly-coloured boxes would tumble into our shopping trolley. Or shopping cart I guess I should say now. You will notice as you hang around me for any length of time that I use a lot of American-English words nowadays. When that’s what you hear all day it’s impossible not to pick up the lingo. One of Emily’s first words was “trash” rather than “rubbish” so I guess I use that word a lot!

Anyway, back to cereal. We were getting through a ridiculous amount of the stuff and I was growing concerned that Emily was going to want to start to eat the same breakfast as her daddy and frankly sugar-laden processed flakes isn’t the way I want her to start her day.

So once a week I make a huge batch of granola. The husband loves it and as a bonus the house smells amazing when it’s baking – air freshener and nutritious food in one hit, perfect to mask the smell of the overflowing kitchen bin (lest you think I am some kind of cereal-making domestic goddess).

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And Emily has started to eat it too, sprinkled on top of her regular oatmeal or even just on its own as a snack.

Here’s the recipe I use (adapted from The Homemade Pantry, one of my favourite cook books).

  • 10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or steel-cut)
  • 3/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups raw chopped almonds – I chop them in the blender as I don’t want any big bits now that Emily is eating it too, just be careful not to blend for too long as you may end up with almond butter
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (if you substitute with table salt I’d try using more like 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil – this is solid at room temperature so I warm it before mixing it in with the syrup and extracts
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a massive bowl (they only just fit in my largest bowl). Stir well.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients in a jug (I use my pyrex jug) and pour the mixture into your bowl of oaty goodness. Stir really really well.
  4. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats (these are the ones I use).
  5. Spread the granola evenly on the two trays. Stick them in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes. Give the granola a stir and move the trays around before cooking for another 45 minutes.
  6. When the time is up (90 minutes total) just turn the oven off and leave them. I’ve been known to leave them all night (because I’d forgotten about them!). The longer you leave them the crisper the granola will get.
  7. Eat your tasty cereal however you fancy. I’m a plain with milk kinda girl but I flirt with adding fresh fruit somedays and even just mix granola with yogurt. Switch up your nut and seed selection next time you make it if you like.

This batch only lasts us a week with the cereal-monster in the house so expect to replenish your store cupboard frequently if you get addicted to this like we have. Enjoy!

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