I had some using up to do today. There was a half used bottle of maple syrup that wouldn’t last much longer and I have lots of almonds that I need to use. So I thought I’d combine the two in a maple syrup and toasted almond granola. I don’t have any pecans which would make the more common pairing, not even any walnuts, I’ve used all those.
Then I thought the sharp fruitiness of dried cranberries would contrast beautifully, and I have a big pack of those, so in they went.
Maple Syrup, Toasted Almond & Cranberry Granola
150g jumbo oats £1.20/kg, 18p
150g value oats, 75p/kg, 11p
30g butter £1.40/250g, 17p
60ml maple syrup £2.99/330g, 54p
30g almonds, split in half length ways £2/200g, 30p
30g dried cranberries £1/100g, 30p
pinch of salt
Makes a total of 450g, or 9 x 50g portions
Costed at Asda using mySupermarket, February 2018
Total cost £1.60. Per portion (9) 18p, plus milk
Total nutrition 1996 cals, 250g carbs, 88g fat, 40g protein
Each 50g portion – 222 cals, 28g carbs, 10g fat, 4g protein
Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the maple syrup so that it warms and goes runny. Mix in the oats and stir thoroughly so that it all gets moistened.
Now tip onto a roasting tray and scrunch it together with your hands to make some clumps. Toast in the oven at about 180c for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, toast the split almonds until lightly browned in a dry frying pan. Don’t turn your back on them as I did, they burn black in an instant!
Once the oats are out of the oven, stir through the almonds and cranberries. Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight tin or container.
This is just as I wanted it. Warm and smooth from the maple syrup, with hits of sharpness from the cranberries and extra crunch from the almonds. Delicious!
I started off with half the amount of maple syrup, but couldn’t really taste it, and as I really wanted that flavour to shine through, I doubled it. If you are using something else as the sweetener, start off with half, and see what you think. You can always add more. Or indeed, make a sugar free version, you have complete control.
Granola is usually eaten at breakfast, with milk, but can be enjoyed with thick Greek yogurt, fruit juice or any of the milk substitutes. Add some fresh fruit to go with it if you like. Defrosted frozen mango, big fat black cherries, some berries from a punnet or a grated fresh apple.
This is also a delicious and healthy snack for starving kids back from school. Or they may like a small dry pot of it in their school lunchbox. Great as a supper dish too.
I used half and half jumbo and value oats as I had some jumbo oats that needed using. All value oats would be fine and probably what I would use next time. I certainly wouldn’t buy some especially. I keep them in to use in Granola Breakfast Bars, as they are vital in those, and my husband loves the bars.
The nuts could be pecan, walnut, Brazils or value cashews or peanuts. I wouldn’t rinse the salt from the cashews/peanuts, but omit the pinch of salt
The cranberries can be swapped out for chopped dried apricot, mango, big fat raisins, chopped dates or any other dried fruit you like.
The oats could be flaked rye, barley or a mixture.
Swap the butter for coconut oil or a vegan spread for a vegan version
Use dark and luscious muscovado sugar instead of maple syrup, or use agave syrup, date syrup, honey or plain old granulated.
Add the zest of a lemon, lime or orange for a fresh citrussy addition
Add some warm and fragrant spice in the form of mixed spice, cinnamon, sharp and fruity amchur (dried green mango) or garam masala
Add a few cocoa nibs for a chocolate hit
There are many variations for granola, this is just one. Do try it, I think you’ll like it!