This does take a while to cook (but it’s worth doing because it tastes yummy and is healthy too), so it’s good to save it until you have one of those ‘in the house’ days so that you can keep checking on its progress.
- 1kg oats
- vanilla essence
- dried fruit (I tend to use a combination of figs, dates, pineapples, papaya, apricots, and vine fruit)
- seeds and nuts (my favourites are sunflower seeds and cashew nuts, but sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and mixed nuts are good too)
- enough big jars to store your lovely produce
Heat the oven to its lowest setting, or round about 100°C.
Spread out the oats onto several casserole dishes/baking trays, or whatever else you have that is ovenproof and shallow.
Put a sprinkle of vanilla into a mug and half fill with water. Share between your different pans of oats. Combine the vanilla solution as thoroughly as possible with the oats. I use a flat knife to do this. When it’s well-combined, bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle over some honey and combine well. Make sure you separate any lumps of oats. Bake again for 30 mins.
Keep removing from the oven, separating the lumps and returning to the oven for 30 minutes until the oats are crisp and completely dry. The oats will have turned a lovely light golden brown by this time.
When absolutely dry, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats with the seeds, nuts and fruit.
Put into jars.
If you’re a purist, serve with milk; alternatively, serve with Greek yogurt and honey, or fresh fruit and creme fraiche. For a late night snack, you could serve it with ice-cream.