Apple Granola and Bircher Muesli

Apple Granola and Bircher Muesli (this recipe is vegan and wheat free option)

Its the middle of British Apple season which means shops filled with my favourite apple, Cox's Orange Pippins. These tangy little apples are really the ultimate all-rounder: great for crumble, apple sauce, just the right size for putting in your coat pocket as a snack and also very good for homemade granola.

Granola is really quick and simple to make and stores very well so you can just make a big jar and work you way through it gradually. I know you can buy granola and muesli in many thousands of forms in the supermarket but this way you can make it exactly as you like it. Use this recipe as a guide but feel free to add and take away nuts of fruit, sugar or spice.

(Recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
For the muesli: 
450g Porridge Oats (Use the large oats rather than refined easy cook porridge. They are much tastier and better for you)
100g Mixed Seeds (I used a premixed pack of sunflower, hemp and pumpkin but use what you like. You can use nuts instead like chopped walnuts or pecans)
100ml sunflower oil
50g plain flour (I use wheat free but regular is fine)
3-4 tbsp Honey (for vegans use maple syrup)
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 grated cox apples (You can use any apples but try to get a nice crisp variety)
Optional- dried fruit like sultanas, dates, raisins or cranberries

Its quite simple from here.
1) Put all of this is a bowl and just toss it through with your hands.
2) Then spread it across a baking tray thinly (but don't crush it or pack it down because you want to retain the little clumps)

4) Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 160c opening the oven to move the mix around every 15 minutes or so to ensure it cook evenly.
5) When its cool you can add dried fruit if you like. I find it too sweet but my husband likes it so we keep ours in a separate jar and he add his in as he goes.
6) Store in an airtight container, like a Kilner jar. At home, ours in always gone within two weeks so I'm not sure how long it keeps but I would hazard a guess that it keeps for at least a month when stored properly. 

To Make this mix into Bircher muesli

I heard on Radio Four this week that apples are better at waking you up in the morning than coffee because even though they don't contain caffeine, they contain a concentrated hit of glucose which burns slowly and keeps you going for longer. I find a good breakfast is even more essential in the winter when facing a long cold journey to work (or a chilly kitchen and a huge prep list).

For the Bircher Muesli:
Mix one grated apple (just the flesh, not the core), some yogurt (I used gooseberry in the picture, but you can use plain or whatever you prefer), a splash of orange juice and as much granola as you wish.

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