There is never not a jar of granola in my pantry.
When people think of granola they tend of think of the fun-free, squeeze your own nut milk millennial in white Kitchens, smiling over an avocado buddha bowl. I think this too. But sometimes, when you really can’t be arsed for breakfast, having a jar of granola at the ready genuinely is a handy thing to have.
I mean, granola is not for everybody, but if you think of it as just a bougie cereal, it makes the whole thing worth it.
You also need to not think that granola is expensive to make and laborious to produce. It is literally the work of moments in a bowl and 30 minutes in the oven. I swear it took me longer to get ready for work than it did to make the batch of granola that lasts me two weeks. Go figure.
This does not mean I look good for work. I always look like an unmade bed but that’s neither here nor there.
I like my granola loose. I have a few granola recipes on my belt but this is different. It’s not as sweet as other kinds, with a seductive spike of olive oil that gives the granola shy, fruity roundness but it also doesn’t clump together into clusters, so you get to enjoy the taste of each ingredient.
And the birth of this granola came as the result of wonderful Lemon Salt gifted to me by my very good friend who has recently come back from her honeymoon in Venice. The salt has a distinct, sour sweetness to it that would lend itself fabulously to some creamy pasta, but more than anything I knew I wanted to use it in something on the sweet side.
However if you do not have a lovely friend back from Venice brandishing lemon tinged salts, you could just opt for sea salt and some lemon zest. I would however encourage you to not crush the salt or pass it through a grinder.
The beauty of using it in this granola is that is becomes an ingredient in itself, providing surprising but welcome salty, lemony crunches with each bite against the backdrop of sweet, smoky maple and lip puckering candied orange peel.
Place a baking sheet on an oven tray and preheat the oven to 150c.
Dump a big juicy bowlful of jumbo oats into… well, a bowl. However if you don’t want to make more than one oven tray’s worth, just tip the oats directly on to the baking tray.
Now add a teaspoon and a half of lemon salt (or sea salt with the zest of one lemon) teaspoon of ground ginger and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Scatter over a generous handful of pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Pour over some maple syrup (enough to coat the oats) followed by a drizzle of good, fruity olive oil.
Toss over a handful of candied orange peel (from a tub) and then a handful of bashed up almonds. You could go for flaked if you want. In fact, go wild, use any nut to hand.
Mix everything together so that the oats are well coated and then slip in the oven for 30 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, toss the oats around careful, crank the heat up to 180c and slide the tray back into the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes.
Once the oats are golden, it’s now… well, granola… take it out of the oven and grate over the zest of an orange while it’s still warm and let it cool down. It’ll keep in your pantry for about a month, but it lasts 2 weeks with me.
I eat it by the handful. Straight from the jar. For shame.