It wasn’t until I travelled to Sicily last year and happened upon the pistachio festival in Bronte that it occurred to me that something as decadent as pistachio paste could exist. But it does! Either as a thick nut butter or (even more gloriously) the […]
Sometimes your day needs a little pick-me-up but you don’t always want to rely on sugary snacks and chocolate bars (even if they are delicious). These are a really good alternative, quick and easy to make, full of fibre and pretty tasty to boot. I’m […]
I might have mentioned this before but my family doesn’t eat Christmas dinner (we have it on Christmas Eve instead) but we do enjoy a Christmas day brunch before the present opening begins. And this is the perfect recipe to kick off the big day. It’s rich and crunchy and full of classic gingerbread flavours – absolutely delicious served with thick creamy Greek yoghurt and fruit.
The beauty of homemade granola is that it’s so easy to adapt it to you own tastes. Potty for pumpkin seeds? Pile them in. Fan of figs? Go ahead! Crazy about cashews? Well you get the idea. Use whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds you like (I’ve opted for sultanas, hazelnuts and pecans) but try to keep to a ratio of 2/3 fruit to 1/3 nuts and seeds. I also think that it’s better not to bake the fruit as it tends to make it a bit too chewy, I think it’s better to add it at the end.
150g nuts, dried fruit and seeds (see note above)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp crystalised ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 170°c and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or baking parchment.
Toss together the oats with the nuts, seeds and crystalised ginger (keep back any fruit that you’re using) in a large mixing bowl.
Gently warm the maple syrup, sugar, oil, spices and salt so that they are all nicely melted together but not too hot (or the sugar will burn). Pour this mixture over the oaty blend and stir well, so that everything is nicely coated.
Spread this out on the prepared baking sheet, pressing it down slightly. Bake the granola for 20 minutes, turning it half way through.
Once the granola is baked scatter the fruit over it and then leave it to cool completely before breaking up the clusters a little and storing in an air-tight container.
You could put this in a pretty jar and give it as a lovely edible Christmas gift!
Something about the onset of the cold grey weather makes me want to eat cheese. ALL THE TIME! Toasty, golden, melted cheese is my favourite and these scones, warm from the oven, fit the bill perfectly. They have a lovely combination of flavours. The rich […]
I am pretty certain that I could eat my body weight in nut butters (sometimes straight from the jar). The problem is that so many of them are made with palm oil. I do try really, really hard not to buy products that use palm oil, which means that a lot of them are off the market to me, including Nutella (sob!). I do sort of miss the days when we lived in the US and I could just pick up a jar of peanut butter from Trader Joes confident in the fact that it was made with just one ingredient – nuts.
There really isn’t anything else you need to put in peanut butter unless you want to twiddle with the flavours a bit. Which is exactly what I’ve done here, adding a dash of cinnamon to the almond butter and some cocoa to the hazelnuts.
You may want to turn off your food processor intermittently whilst you make the nut butters to prevent it from getting too warm.
makes 1 jar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
Toast the nuts for 10 minutes at 180°c, keeping them separate. Place the hazelnuts in a clean tea towel and rub them to loosen and remove some of the skin but don’t worry if some of it is a bit stubborn.
When the nuts have cooled a bit place the almonds into the bowl of a food processor and blitz them at full speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at regular intervals and keep blitzing until the nuts release their oil and transform into a thick smooth paste. Add the cinnamon and blend it in. That’s the almond butter done, set it aside and clean out the food processor so that you can start the hazelnut butter.
Do the same thing with the hazelnuts as you did with the almonds, blitzing them in the food processor until they are reduced to a thick smooth paste. Add the sugar and the cocoa powder and blend them with the hazelnut paste.
Transfer the two spreads to a clean jar, swirling or layering them as you like.