Last week a couple of friends from Brussels came to visit me in London. Even though the plan was mostly to go shopping, eating and partying, I still felt like I had to plan something somewhat cultural for the occasion and get them to see a bit of London. The weather had been so lovely and summery in the past few weeks that I decided to plan a tour of East London. I found this company called Alternative London that does tours around Spitafields Market, focusing on the amazing street art in the area and the history of the neighbourhood.
We had a great time, took lots of pictures but the weather was in no way lovely! We had all been tricked by the morning sunshine into wearing only light jumpers and flats. By the end of the 2-hour tour, if a genie in a bottle gave me 3 wishes I would have wished for hot chocolate, a onesie and a burning fireplace.
This did not help me curb my spending during our shopping session afterwards; I bought a winter coat and a pair of boots and wore them right away! Back home I felt depressed that it was Autumn already and dangerously slipping into winter. So to brighten up my mood I decided to go in the kitchen and cook something yummy and autumnal to help me get through the cold season. And that’s how I created my first ever homemade granola with a secret ingredient.
I read a bit about how to make granola before I started, as I was trying to make it with what I had in the kitchen. I found a cool article on The Guardian about how to make granola which got me the basics. Start with jumbo rolled oats. To get the oats to stick together in clusters you basically need something sticky (honey, maple syrup) and something fat (butter, oil). And then you can add whatever you want to this: seed, dried fruits, spices … And don’t forget a pinch of salt.
I had the fat but nothing sticky as I had just finished my jar of honey. I thought of replacing the honey with jam, but then I figured it might be a bit strange and I had no idea how that would end up looking once out of the oven. Then I remembered I actually had a marvellous ingredient from Belgium that had the stickiness and the fat. And that ingredient is Liege syrup (see link for more about Liege syrup on this blog) , the secret ingredient. The spread tastes like caramelised apple and I thought that would be perfect from my Autumn Granola.
So here it is: an extra simple recipe, takes 10 mn to make and 30 mn to bake.
170 g jumbo rolled oats – 120 g Liege syrup – 2 tbsp sunflower oil – 1 tsp fine salt – 30 g pumpkin seeds – 30 g coconut flakes – 30 g chopped dried apricots – 30 g dried cranberries – 30 g raisins – 30 g sunflower seeds – 50 g dark chocolate chips.
- Heat the oven to 150C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Put the Liege syrup, oil and salt together in a bowl and heat gently in the microwave until warm and mix until well combined. Allow to cool slightly.
- Toss the oats and the coconut flakes in a large bowl. Stir the Liege syrup mix into the bowl until well distributed and the oats form little clusters.
- Spread out on the baking sheet and bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden, stirring regularly.
- While the oats are baking, mix all the fruit, seeds and chocolate together in a bowl.
- When the oats are golden, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down, then mix in the dried ingredients.
- Enjoy with some cold milk or yoghurt – in your onesie!