Granola, or crunch, as it's known in this house is generally our breakfast of choice (when I'm not trying to mix it up at the weekends).
More often than not Hugh makes batches of granola in the evening, but every now and then Henry gets in on the act and they make up a batch on a Saturday morning.
Now for some reason our family granola recipe - which really is very simple - has taken a lot of experimentation. We used to buy a well known brand and Hugh wanted to re-create the clusters of crunch that you got in it. There was lots of recipe development but in the end we all decided that actually we preferred it without clusters.
Ever the scientist, Hugh tweaked and tweaked away at his recipe - the notes above show only one of three pages - but now it's so simple that even Henry has it down to a fine art... well you know under Hugh's supervision.
Ingredients are approximately:
1kg jumbo oats
250g sunflower seeds
150g pumpkin seeds
75ml agave nectar
50g maple syrup
A large dollop of honey
1-2tsp vanilla extract
150ml of fruit juice (cranberry is good but anything goes)
200ml sunflower oil
...and here's the method:
Pour a full bag of jumbo oats into a mixing bowl
Add your nut of choice - in this case a bag of flaked almonds
A good couple of handfuls of seeds - we like pumpkin seeds -
... and sunflower seeds
Give your dry ingredients a mix.
Then put your wet ingredients in a
measuring jug - we use a mix of agave syrup, maple syrup (although are
using less and less of that as it's pretty £££), a tiny bit of honey and
then cranberry juice... and a very carefully measured teaspoon full of vanilla essence!
Add your wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and give it a really thorough mix....
Measure out your sunflower oil
... and pour it in...
Mix until everything is well coated! Can take some effort...
Optional: take a rest once it's all mixed together. I know I didn't do a great job of editing down these photos... I am indulging myself.
Pour the mixture into a baking tray and spread it evenly
First bake is for 30 mins at about 150 degrees - and keep an eye on the edges - they can burn if you're not careful or lucky. Once it's toasted around the edges, mix it over and put it back in for a further 15 mins or so.
Once that is done you can add your raisins... if you put them in the first bake then end up too hard, so we add them half way through.
Scatter them about and put your crunch back in the oven for a further 10 mins.
Then turn the temperature down to zero but leave the fan running for a good 20 mins to dry it out and get it crunchy. Then covet until morning... or if you are like us maybe have some for pudding!?
We like it best with plain yoghurt and chopped fruit... although the kids seems to like adding it to any other cereal and just eating it with milk too, but it's definitely a much lower sugar option than supermarket cereal. I'm on a mission to keep an eye on how much sugar the children have (without jumping on any crazy bandwagons...) I don't think I'm doing them any favours if they grow up with a sweet tooth but it's a hard line to tread; I don't want to do too much straight out denial in case that just make the urges stronger. It's work in progress.
My friend Hattie is being much more systematic about the same mission and is sharing some great recipes over on her instagram account @thetwohatties - this is one you need to be following people!