This is what I have been enjoying recently: batch toasted granola. It’s nothing new, or even particularly exciting, unless, like me, you think warm granola is the sort of thing to write home about. It’s got all the usual things going on: oats, dried fruit, a squeeze of citrus, maybe a few nuts and a teaspoon of honey, but it’s the process of making it that I like.
There is no recipe as such, simply throw together what is available. I like to use rolled oats and jumbo oats for a more interesting texture, but just one sort would be fine. (About 1/2 cup of oats altogether, per person.) Add cinnamon, ground ginger, perhaps some roughly chopped almonds or hazelnuts, a few sultanas or dried cranberries, a pinch of salt. Melt together a generous knob of butter, honey and a squeeze of orange in a hot pan. Add the dry granola, stirring to moisten then continue to toss. Watch the oats darken and the dried fruit plump with the hot butter.
This is such a wonderful way to start the day; to smell the toasted oats, and then to eat them all. There is something about making granola to put in a large jar and last a week, but there is something equally lovely in making a bowlfull of warm, fresh granola for immediate consumption with yoghurt and fruit.
On one occasion, when the cupboards were a little bare, I toasted only oats with a sprinkle of spice. Crank the heat and oats cooked like this deliver a depth of flavour quite unexpected. Next time I might take a leaf out of Heidi’s book and try oats this way: a toasted, souped up porridge.