Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grand Plan

granola

You know that grand plan I had, the one where I was going to eat breakfast every day? Well it worked for a while, but I soon sunk back into my old ways. I was bored with the breakfast options on offer at home, yet had no time to make something more interesting on a normal morning, between important wardrobe decisions and catching the early train – the only one on which I manage to get a seat! When granola recipes popped up on several blogs that I love, I thought that this could be a great option for me. It could be made in advance and filled with lots of good stuff, unlike mass-manufactured cereals with lists of ingredients you can’t pronounce. It could also be adapted to include the things I like.

But it took me a while to actually get around to making it. It seems like quite a turning point, the day you decide to make your own cereal, like stepping over to the other side, and I just wasn’t ready yet! Even yesterday, when I did make granola for the first time, I was slightly hesitant. Quietly prepared to be converted and knowing that what I was doing – measuring oats and chopping almonds – could be something I do every weekend from now on. And I think I was right, judging by how excited I was about breakfast today. Simply adorned with some chopped strawberries, this granola is wonderful.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily it came together, and the amazing smell that wafted through the house as it baked had everyone asking what I was cooking. I adapted the recipe slightly from Molly’s, adding sultanas instead of the chocolate, using macadamia oil, and adding a little vanilla. I am already looking forward to further tinkering with the recipe. Next time I might add some cinnamon, some sunflower seeds, and some dried cherries. And I’m definitely making a double batch!

Oh, and here’s a question for those in and around Melbourne. I’m going to be visiting for eight days in early October. Last time I was there it rained every day and we didn’t get to explore very much, unfortunately. From an insider’s perspective, what should we make sure to see and do? Which markets are the best? And more importantly, where should we eat? I have a special interest in patisseries, chocolate and coffee!

granola

Honey and Almond Granola
Adapted from Orangette

• 3 cups rolled oats
• ½ cup shredded coconut
• ½ cup natural almonds, finely chopped
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• Pinch salt
• 6 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoons macadamia oil (or vegetable oil)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup sultanas or other dried fruit, chopped if necessary

1. Preheat oven to 150ºC (300ºF) Combine rolled oats, coconut, almonds, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
2. In a small saucepan, warm the honey, oil and vanilla, whisking occasionally until combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir well.
3. Spread the mixture evenly over a rimmed baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden, stirring at the halfway point to ensure granola cooks evenly. When it’s ready, remove from the oven and stir well. Cool completely.
4. Transfer to a large bowl, jar or zip-lock bag and stir in sultanas or other chopped dried fruit. Store in an air-tight container and serve with milk or yoghurt.

9 comments:

Y said...

I like your grand plan. I'm always on the run in the mornings on work days that I don't really have time to sit down and have a proper breakfast like I should.

Lizzie said...

Yay Melbourne! I've been living here for a year now (from Perth) and I still haven't visited all the place I want to see! (There's a cake decorating store somewhere in town, for example!)

I can give you a GREAT place for Chocolate. "The Chokolait Hub" in the Royal Arcade is THE PLACE to go for chocolate. It's in the Royal Arcade, which goes between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Streets, and is off to the side of the main arcade, down some steps. It is veryvery worth making the effort to find it. The chocolate mousse is amazing, and the iced chocolate is phenomenal!

If you want somewhere funky with great food, and vegetarian, go no further than The Vegie Bar, on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. (Take the 112 tram from the CBD along Bourke Street.) You can sit there all afternoon, it's got a great atmosphere and the food is amazing.

Enjoy yourself down here!

Lisa said...

Y, physically sitting down for breakfast feels sort of weird for me now, I'm so used to eating toast standing up! But having breakfast is good, and will stop me snacking on naughty things mid-morning.

Lizzie, thanks so much for the tips. I had actually heard of the Chokolait Hub before but with that sort of praise I really must check it out. I've visited Perth a few times now and it's lovely!

Jeanine said...

That looks like a fantastic (and healthy) breakfast!

Beth said...

I know what you mean about being hesitant about makig cereal! I have loads of granola recipes bookmarked but haven't took the plunge yet - I am definitely going to this weekend though!!
My brother emigrated to Melbourne - I will have to ask him

Naama said...

This looks like a great way to start your day. great photo!

The Mood Food Blog said...

This looks really tasty and I'm so in the mood for Granola- porridge in summer is just wrong!

Manggy said...

Good luck on sticking to the grand plan, Lisa :) And have lots of fun in Melbourne!!

Lisa said...

Jeanine, thank you :) I like putting fruit on top. Today it will be banana!

Beth, I hope you will take the plunge, I think it's so worth it :) I'll be making more this weekend.

Naama, thank you. It's kind of nice to be almost excited about breakfast now!

Mood Food, so true. I hope you'll try it!

Mark, hehe thanks...so far so good :) I am very excited about the Melbourne trip!

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