Monday February 25th 2008, 10:19 am

My favourite granola

What did we ever do before the world wide web? I was curious to find out whether granola is a trade name or not and a quick Google search instantly told me it once was, still is in Australia but no longer is everywhere else. Wikipedia has come in for a lot of stick in the press recently for being unreliable as it is public participation that keeps the information it contains updated and accurate. That means you and me could make up any old tosh and contribute to an encyclopedia of pure bunkem, if we so wish.
According to Wiki-P, “Granola” is used as a slang term (metonym) describing a person who is hippie-like, a modern bohemian, environmentalist, or leftist in outlook. I have never heard anyone referred to as a ‘Granola’, though as insults go it could be worse. In fact I have decided to become a Granola.
I can’t believe that I’ve never made granola before, an oat-based whole-foodie concoction that contains seeds, nuts and grains and is slightly sweetened with honey, maple or sugar syrup. The combination of ingredients can be just about any mix you like and baking in the oven toasts it all nicely and heightens the flavours.
I am never sure whether it is good to make things that you can’t stop eating or better to not make them at all and for me granola falls into this category. The real jewels in the mix, the whole cashews, chopped apricots and toasted pecans sit on the top shouting ‘eat me’ and I duly oblige everytime I walk through the kitchen. Paul McKenna promotes a strange tapping technique to overcome cravings so I am often to be found in the kitchen staring at the jar of granola whilst tapping my head in the McKenna-style.
Granola is fabulous served with natural yoghurt for breakfast and full of good things to help keep you going all day. For a rather more special dessert, mix mascarpone with plain yoghurt, maple syrup and a spash of good vanilla extract and add the granola to that. Serve in precious little ramekins to make it seem even more special. Here is a recipe to get you started but really, this is a freeform thing, so go with the flow and improvise.