When I shared my recipe for Overnight Porridge with you a few of you said you would love to eat oats for breakfast but you couldn’t stand the texture of porridge! So here is a recipe for Apple, Almond and Maple Syrup Granola! It uses porridge oats but is crunchy. You can vary the fruit and nuts you use too. I've used mejool dates here because they were reduced after Christmas, but you could use figs or prunes if you prefer. You could replace the raisins with cranberries or dried cherries, and the almonds with walnuts or pecans or pistachios etc. By all means use honey instead of maple syrup. Its your breakfast so you can make this exactly to your taste or with what you have to hand.
When I have this instead of porridge for breakfast I have it with yoghurt and whatever fruit I have. Today it was with damsons from the freezer made into a compote with a little sugar. but most fresh fruit works very well - rhubarb is a huge favourite here!
APPLE, ALMOND & MAPLE SYRUP GRANOLA
Zest from an orange or 2 clementines
2tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
350g jumbo oats
60g (4 tbsp) maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
50g dried soft dates
Heat oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Line 2 baking trays with - silicone mat or baking parchment.
Coarsely chop the almonds. Finely zest the orange/clementine.
Slice the apple flesh away from the core, (no need to peel) then cut it into a small ½ cm dice.
Add apple to a mixing bowl along with the almonds, zest, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, olive oil and the small pinch of salt.
Mix well, then spread it out evenly onto the baking trays.
Place in oven to bake, turning the mixture occasionally, until golden and crunchy - it could anywhere between 20-30 mins depending on your oven. The top tray may cook slightly faster, so try swapping their positions halfway through.
When ready, remove from the oven and stir the dates and raisins evenly into the mix.
Leave to cool on the trays; it'll become crisper and crunchier as it cools. When completely cool, transfer to an air-tight container to store for up to a month.
COOKS NOTE: This granola also works well as an impromptu pudding when used to top fruit (fresh/baked/stewed) and served with cream.