Wednesday, July 23, 2008
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!
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.