Product of the week: granola

Categories: Product of the week

All-natural granola that simultaneously tackles single-use packaging and food waste

Granola—in fact, breakfast cereal in general—is one of those ‘healthy’ foodstuffs that has come a bit of a cropper thanks to the recent interest in and subsequent shunning of refined sugars. Knowing what we now know, you can avoid inadvertent indulgence by spending hours checking cereal packet labels and acquiring an understanding of all the many scientific names for the different sugars contained within—or you could just head to nibs etc for some of Chloë Stewart’s homemade, no-nonsense juice pulp granola.

“It barely tastes sweet—most of the sugar is concentrated in the sultanas and the juice pulp,” says Chloë. That juice pulp—an example of a waste product being put to good use—makes up about 30 per cent of the product, so it’s “pretty high in fibre. I get it from juice bars across London. Batches are made with carrot, apple and ginger pulp, mixed with organic jumbo oats, almonds, coconut flakes, sultanas, cinnamon, seeds and salt, then a little olive oil and honey to bind it,” she explains. “But, actually, the pulp is quite moist, so you don’t need loads of extra sugars and syrups.”

Baked “low and slow” until golden in the company’s east London kitchen, it’s earthy, with pleasingly crunchy clumps of oats and added bite from the myriad seeds. “You can eat it any which way,” smiles Chloë. “I have customers who like to just snack on it plain—I do that too—or you can crumble it on a salad with feta, beetroot and spinach, for example. The nuttiness really works. My favourite way to eat it is on top of porridge, or just in a bowl of milk or yoghurt with loads of fruit,” she says. “I encourage people to try it, even if they say they don’t usually like granola—the flavour and texture make it just that little bit different.”

Granola in dispensers

More good things
Recently, Chloë has added to the stall’s already impressive eco credentials with the introduction of dispensers, which encourage customers to bring in their own jar or reusable box, fill it up with as much or as little granola as they want, and pay by weight. “As well as eliminating single-use packaging, it also makes it better value for the customers, as it reduces our costs,” she says. “I’m so excited—I’ve been wanting to upgrade the stall for a while. It’s been a long time coming.”

The stall has been made by Solo Wood Recycling in Croydon: a social enterprise that looks to reclaim and upcycle wood that would otherwise go to landfill. The dispensers, too, are environmentally sound: “They’re made by a company called Glasbin in Munich, Germany,” Chloë explains. “They’re really beautiful, completely plastic-free and handmade, so they’re a little bit individual. They’re just glass, wood, a bit of rubber and metal, so they work with our aesthetic as well as the message we’re trying to get across,” she continues. “It’s totally in line with Borough Market’s mission to eliminate single-use plastic, which is great. Hopefully it’ll lead to more good things.”