Friday, 30 November 2012

Homemade Granola

I have been wanting to make our own granola for a while now but kept putting it off for one reason or another, finally last month I took the plunge and loved it so much found myself wishing I had done it years ago. I wanted to make it wheat and sugar free, still be tasty and very heavy on the nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I went through a process of picking out which nuts and seeds would have the best health benefits for our family and gave the recipe a go.

First things first start mixing the main ingredients, I have used 400g of oats and 150g of honey this may seem like a lot but I have been making up a batch to last the week. I have chosen to use coconut oil in the recipe due to it's health benefits and lovely toasted coconut taste in the finished granola, melt about 75g of the oil and brush some on the baking tray  and pour the rest into the oats.

After mixing well, spread onto the baking tray or dish... the recipe needs to cook for about 25 to 30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade but it will need stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. I usually put the nuts and seeds in half way through cooking while I am stirring as I don't like them too toasted.

I have used about 100g of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, linseed/flax and sesame) and about 75g of mixed chopped nuts (brazil, almonds etc) and mixed them in to the granola after the first 10 minutes although it could all be done at the start to save time.

After it has finished cooking leave it to cool completely it will crisp up... at this point stir in about 75g of your chosen dried fruit. We have found the honey to be sweet enough without any other sugar. Once it has cooled it can be stored in a jar to keep it fresh.

This is absolutely delicious, such an easy recipe to make and really simple to customise to include your favourite things. Perfect for breakfast with milk, with yoghurt or just out of the jar as a snack.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hawthorn Berry Syrup

The hawthorn berry was the last syrup I have made this year, and it was made in exactly the same way as the elderberry syrup and the rosehip syrup. I decided to make just a small amount of this syrup and started with just 200g of berries. Please do not use any berries that you cannot identify without any doubt, we are very experienced.

The berries were sorted and those which were not used were put out on the bird table, so none were wasted. I won't list the recipe again, it can be found under the rosehip page above if you would like it. Hawthorn berries have lots of heart benefits amongst other things, more can be read here if you are interested.

This syrup tastes quite like the crab apple jelly I made last year and is an equally beautiful colour. Will be keeping this one for myself, although the children have been using the rosehip and the elderberry syrup to help with their recent cold.