On Breakfast (an Ode to Granola)

Last week I was feeling a little lost. I ran out of granola, and instead of finding alternative breakfast solutions spent the week not eating any. This led to a week of questionable levels of productivity and general hunger. A cup of tea does not suffice.

Up until the last year or so I never ate breakfast, or rarely at least. Much of my childhood was spent with my parents trying to convince me to eat something before I left for school, but it always made me feel sick or I didn’t have enough time or many many more excuses. That said, my friend’s mum used to let me eat ice cream for breakfast when I was in primary school, and I was totally cool with that. Unfortunately these ice cream breakfasts were few and far between. I kind of wonder how things would’ve been if I’d actually eaten breakfast every day. Maybe I’d be taller? Or have got better grades? Or maybe I would’ve been the same, just…less hungry.

Anyway, there ends the tale of woe of a breakfast-less childhood. Now I find it hard not to eat breakfast, and don’t really understand why I spent the best part of 23 years not bothering.

You guys, breakfast is AWESOME.

Know what’s even better? Granola. YES. This is where this is going. Back to the empty granola container on my kitchen counter. When I decided granola should be my breakfast of choice a few months ago, I started eating Dorset Cereals, which is fantastic (particularly the chocolate stuff), but prohibitively expensive. £5 for 550g? No thanks. I would weigh it into 50g portions so that I knew it would last a long time. Please, don’t judge me, it’s sensible okay! But what turned out to be more sensible was to make my own, which is a) cheaper, and b) tastier.



Enter Leon.

I love Leon, and it always makes me sad that they don’t have one in Cambridge, but their Ingredients and Recipes book helps me to pretend that I am there all the time. They have a pretty amazing granola recipe, which I have adapted slightly because I really like banana chips, and you can adapt it too, because you can put anything in granola. Even chocolate. And you could probably eat it with ice cream, if you’re anything like 6 year old me.

You will need:

150g honey

60ml sunflower or groundnut oil

250g rolled oats (the porridgey kind)

100g oatbran

150g sunflower seeds

100g hazelnuts

150g dates

100g dried apricots

100g sultanas

100g wheatgerm

(I substitute the dates with dried banana chips and more apricots, and I put 50g pumpkin seeds and 75g dried cranberries in too. I have never used the wheatgerm, because I couldn’t find it anywhere when I first made it, and it was fine without, so I don’t think you need it.)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4

2. Pour the honey and oil into a pan and heat gently until the honey has melted

3. In a bowl mix the oats, bran, sunflower seeds (and pumpkin seeds if you got them!), then pour the honey mixture on and mix well until everything is coated. Spread it out on a large baking tray

4. Roast for 20-25 mins turning everything 3 or 4 times, then leave to cool.

5. Roughly chop the hazelnuts, dates and apricots, and when the oats are cool, mix everything together with the wheatgerm (if you want) and store in an air-tight container. It’ll last about a month (unless you eat it all really quickly).

Writing out this recipe has made me want to eat breakfast again.


– Lizzie

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One thought on “On Breakfast (an Ode to Granola)

  1. Jordi Sutton says:

    Two things:
    1) Be very glad you took up breakfast-eating because I have SERIOUS issues with anyone who chooses to ignore this most important meal; had I found out you were not imbibing proper nourishment in the a.m. I may have camped out in your graveyard and started a hunger protest until you conceded (and neither you or not I would have wanted that to happen)… Lizzie, my darling, how I mourn those 23 wasted years – all that time you could have been fully charged, like a battery, like the Energizer bunny! Nonetheless, it appears you have changed your ways and what a remarkable change it is! One serving of that amazing granola makes up for at least a week of breakfast-lack, I reckon. You are an inspiration to us all.
    2) I honestly can’t remember what my second thing was. Maybe I included it with number one. Or maybe I just wanted to tell you that I would really love to hang out with six-year-old you. We could ride bicycles and have picnics.

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