Monday, 13 October 2014

Morning glory

Wake up children!

It's hard for me too, you know... The summer holidays are a distant memory: lazy mornings reading in bed while you ate white bread weighed down with Nutella and peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles. Now you need something sustaining and healthy to boost your brains and power you through the long mornings of letters, numbers and fighting in the playground.

And so we start the healthy-breakfast-bartering. I open with poached eggs, kippers and wholemeal toast; they come back with Coco Pops. After protracted negotiations we agree on granola. Enough sugar to appeal to them, plenty of nuts and fibre to placate me.

My recipe for Ginger Granola stars oats, maple syrup, honey, nuts, dried fruit and little pieces of zingy crystallised ginger to sweeten and surprise. Eat it for breakfast with milk, straight from the jar for a snack, with yogurt for pudding - or give it away in pretty jars.

Ginger granola in pretty jar with gingham lid and ribbon

Ginger Granola

125ml maple syrup (or a combination of runny honey and maple syrup)
25g caster sugar
25ml sunflower oil
half a teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
500g oats (preferably a mixture of jumbo and porridge)
175g mixed seeds
150g pecans
50g whole almonds
150g dried fruit
100g crystallised ginger, chopped finely

Heat the oven to 170/gas 3. Put the first six ingredients in a large bowl and stir together. Then add the oats, seeds, pecans and almonds and use your hands to mix everything really well*. Tip into two roasting tins and spread out evenly. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until it is a light golden brown colour. Let it cool down completely before adding the dried fruit and ginger.

Close up of ginger granola with seeds, nuts, crystallised ginger

* When you've finished mixing, wring your hands like Lady Macbeth, then wash them. The combination of oil and sugar will leave them feeling beautifully soft.