Two weeks ago I gave you the recipe for a so-called no knead bread and I would like to come back to that. A number of readers emailed me about their experiences with this type of bread, which, as the name suggests, does not require kneading and is baked in a closed casserole in the oven.

The readers pointed out to me that I am unnecessarily complicating things by throwing the dough from the baking paper on which it has undergone its second rise into the preheated and thus very hot pan. You can simply bake that baking paper. It’s not called baking paper for nothing, Vreugdenhil. (No, you didn’t write that last one literally, you’re much nicer to me than I am.) Of course I immediately tried a few things, and damn, it’s going great. Just as beautiful bread, but without clumsy hassle and the risk of burns.

I just wanted to pass that on to you. But now something different. Although, today we are somewhat stuck in the same things-you-usually-buy-in-the-store-but-can-make-yourself-corner. We are going to make granola.

When it comes to breakfast, most of us are creatures of habit. Anyone who ever taught himself to start the day with a bowl of yogurt or cottage cheese with muesli (crispy or not), will do so almost every day. At the most, you can switch to a croissant or scrambled eggs on toast at the weekend. To have that same bowl again on Monday morning… And that’s fine of course. Boring, but fine. We have to make so many choices in 24 hours that a fixed breakfast routine can be very pleasant. But does that muesli always have to taste the same?

The nice thing about making your own granola is that you can always give it a different twist. First you choose one or more grains in flake form: oat flakes, wheat flakes, spelled flakes, barley flakes, rye flakes, you name it. Note that this is the whole, crushed but otherwise unprocessed grain. So if you choose oats, use oat flakes and not oatmeal. (Oatmeal is cut into smaller pieces.) I always like to throw in a handful of whole buckwheat grains. They give a nice bite.

If desired, supplement the grains with nuts and/or seeds. Then you make a kind of dressing from oil – I usually use olive oil and sometimes coconut oil –, a sweetener – honey, maple syrup, date, rice or agave syrup, but ordinary brown sugar is also possible – and one or more seasonings. The latter is the funniest part of making granola, because with it you can really put your own stamp on it.

Finely grated ginger and ditto orange peel are a very tasty combination in my opinion. Or vanilla and cinnamon. But much more can be done, as long as the flavors are a bit balanced. Don’t forget to add a good pinch of salt in that regard. Granola without salt tastes very bland. In the recipe on the right I use tahini, cinnamon and half a teaspoon of ground anise. Festively enough, that has a bit of a gingerbread-like effect.

Finally, mix the dressing with the grains, nuts and/or seeds, spread the whole thing on a baking tray and slide it into the oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Those who like dried fruit such as raisins, pieces of apricot or fig, mulberries or goji berries in their granola, only toss them through the rest after baking. And huppetee, within an hour there will be a weck bottle full of crunchy, golden brown cereal on the kitchen shelf.

Granola with tahini, maple syrup and pecan nuts

To break the breakfast routine, I’m not only giving you a recipe for granola, but also one for a smoothie bowl. Read: we don’t sprinkle the muesli over yogurt or quark, but over pureed fruit.

The bowl in question is very similar to the acai bowls that have come over from Brazil as a health food trend. I ate one for the first time about ten years ago on the beach of Ipanema and was immediately sold. I could have sworn that icy, deep purple, sweet-sweet slurry was jam-packed with sugar, that I was basically just eating sorbet ice cream with cereal, but it’s really just banana and berries.

Acai berries can be ordered online in the Netherlands and for sale in a single physical store – including at Finalmente Brasil in the Kinkerstraat in Amsterdam – but let’s make it easy on ourselves. Albert Heijn has recently started selling frozen wild blueberries, which you can use to make a deep purple smoothie. If you can’t get them, use blackberries. Or possibly blueberries, although I think that’s a bit the broiler chickens among the berries, so bloodless and tasteless.

If you own a blender, you don’t have to thaw the berries or blackberries first. In fact, if you really want to make a kind of sorbet, you can also freeze the banana cut into small pieces. With a stick blender it becomes a bit more difficult to break down that frozen fruit.

For 600 grams:

3 tbsp olive oil;
60 g tahin;
60 – 100 ml maple syrup (or honey, or date syrup);
1 tsp salt;
1.5 tsp cinnamon powder;
½ tsp ground anise;
250 g oat flakes;
75 g of buckwheat grains;
100 g pecans, coarsely chopped;
25 g sesame seeds

Heat the oven at 160 degrees. Put the olive oil, the tahini, as much maple syrup as you like – with 60 ml the granola will be barely sweet, with 100 ml it will be sweet, but not excessively –, the salt, cinnamon and anise in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring the boil. Let it bubble for 1 minute.

NS Place the oats, buckwheat, pecans and sesame seeds in a bowl and pour in the liquid. Mix well.

spread Spread the granola on a baking tray lined with baking paper and slide into the oven. Bake the granola for 35 – 45 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Stir a few times in between so that no large lumps form. (Unless you want to, of course.) Let the granola cool and store in a glass jar.

Blueberry bowl with granola

Per person:

1 banana;
100 g frozen blueberries (or blackberries);
50 ml (vegetable) milk;

to decorate:

2 – 3 the granola;
fresh fruit of your choice

Pel the banana and break it into pieces. Place the banana pieces, frozen berries and milk in the blender and puree until smooth. Pour the blueberry puree into a bowl. Sprinkle with granola and garnish with fresh fruit.