New York City is full of chains that specialize in grab-and-go food. While they can be convenient, they are often pricey. With just a bit of effort, however, you can recreate these foods on a budget.
Take the Blueberry Granola Pot from Pret A Manger, for example. The combination of Greek yogurt, fruit compote and granola makes for a great light breakfast or afternoon snack. But for $3.59, the treat can become an expensive habit.
Luckily, all its components are cheap and easy to make, so you can make the dish yourself. Homemade granola is not only simple, but also healthier than most store-bought varieties, which are loaded with sugar and fat. The blueberry compote calls for inexpensive and readily available frozen berries, and you can use the extra as a topping for pancakes and ice cream or in a smoothie. Making this dish at home gives you more flexibility because you can control the proportion of each ingredient yourself.
The recipe below makes enough for about six granola pots at a price of $1.51 per serving. That is less than half of what you would pay at Pret, with a savings of $2.08 for each serving.
Better-Than-Pret Blueberry Granola Pots
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 bag frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Greek yogurt, for serving
1. For granola: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients except the egg white and cranberries in a large bowl, stirring to combine. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl with a fork until frothy. Add to the other ingredients, making sure to mix well. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Halfway through baking, stir the granola carefully while trying to keep larger clumps together. When it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, the granola is done. Cool completely, then stir in cranberries.
3. For the compote: Combine half the blueberries with sugar and lemon juice in a small pot. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 more minutes, stirring frequently. Cool completely.
4. To assemble pots: Add a few tablespoons of compote to the bottom of a small bowl or jar. Top with about half a cup of yogurt, then sprinkle on as much granola as you would like.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 7th print edition. Email Kendall at [email protected]