Textures. Salty and sweet. Smooth and rough. Liquid and crunch. That’s what I like. Something with some bite. I love a hearty soup in Autumn and Winter, but sometimes miss the motion of chewing or crunching on some ‘substance’, this savoury turmeric granola was a whimsical idea that turned out rather fantastic. We have made it on repeat since then and pack it into a jar for easy accessibility at every meal time. Read more
June has arrived, it is officially summer here in the UK. The sky is blue today and with the blue sky comes bright light that highlights the many shades of green that make up our current view. Left is green, to my right is green, green is my happy colour. I can here the lambs calling to their mother’s, the birds tweeting to each other, and if we are lucky, the tiny squeaking of the newest members to the canal – 7 little signets. Our little floating home is like an observatory into the wonders of nature. Life is good.
I bring this post with a huge dollop of excitement! Whilst this was slowly roasting in the oven, I could smell the faint, sweet wafts of gentle rose, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I am very much pro granola, remember this awesome oat-y bowl? Or this one? As I am sure you are aware, dear readers, I am passionate about using organic produce. My recent experience of a night with other organic food lovers only cemented what an important thing it is. Wake Up To Organic has already launched, in partnership with Soil Association and The Organic Trade Board, and is gearing up for a nationwide event on June 15th 2016. Independent retailers across the UK will be hosting #WakeuptoOrganic events serving up breakfasts, hosting blogger demos, and visits with visits from local suppliers and producers. I was keen to get on board and be part of encouraging people to eat more organic produce. Wild Oats are taking part and you can find all the ingredients to this recipe in the store. You can also pick up a recipe card to take home with you, so you can get making this awesome granola. Head over there on June 15th to see how they’re spreading the organic love!
Eating organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. How about swapping your daily latte for a packet of organic flour? Ditch that weekly takeaway and go and stock up on a basket of organic veg. This rose and pistachio granola recipe is low cost, and will make satisfy many a grumbling belly. Slow roasted oats, nuts and rose petals, coming to a bowl near you! Happy organic summer pals!
- 4 cups (360g) organic oats
- ½ cup (75g) organic almonds - roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup (50g) organic sunflower seeds
- Small handful organic dried rose petals - ripped/ chopped in half
- ½ teaspoon organic ground ginger
- ¾ cup (180ml) organic coconut oil
- ¼ cup (60ml) organic maple syrup
- t teaspoon organic rose water
- ¾ cup (110g) organic pistachios
- Pre-heat your oven to Gas 2 / 150 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof / parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your oats, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, rose petals and ground ginger. Mix it well with a large spoon.
- Heat a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and rose water. Whisk it and take it off the heat as soon as the coconut oil has melted.
- Pour the oil mix over the oat mix. Stir it well with your spoon and make sure the liquid coats all the oats.
- Spread the granola mix evenly onto your baking tray.
- Bake for 30 mins, stirring it after 20 minutes.
- After 30 mins, add in your pistachios, and bake for 10 more minutes.
I have a confession. It’s one I have been denying for a while now. Charlie tells me it regularly, but I have been slightly blind sighted. I shut the cupboard doors quickly, and ram in another hanger in the over-flowing wardrobe.
Yes, I am a hoarder.
I collect things I think will be important, things I am sure I will use again and again. Yes, I do need another pink wig. And a 15th pair of sunglasses. No, I can’t make my trainer collection smaller, and it is absolutely necessary to have that hula-hula skirt I found at a festival. The trouble is, when you live on a boat, you cannot be a hoarder. You have to condense your life down to the very most important things. How am I supposed to do this when EVERYTHING is important. It is a topic which often turns into a heated discussion between Charlie and I. He doesn’t like ‘stuff’, I love ‘stuff’. Here lies the problem.
Every September, we arrive back on the boat after some time in the fields, and I cry and despair because I don’t know how we are going to be able to unpack. I try to have a clear-out, but it never seems to work. All the storage space we have is full, and the boat is a mess. How could we possibly get organised, when there was no room to organise anything? I decided enough was enough. I sat myself down, gave myself a little pep talk, and got my ‘clearing out’ head on.
It took all day, copious amounts of tea, a few tears, and many cookies. I was ruthless with my clothes, anything not worn in over 2 months could go, shoes hiding at the back of the rack were out. The kitchen cupboards were organised, I know now exactly what is in them (we’re going to be eating rice until 2017), and where. Given the fact that we can only have about 3 people visiting at once, I figured we don’t need 20 dinner plates, or 25 side plates! We gave sacks and sacks of clothes to charity, blankets to people in need, and set up a stall on the towpath with a big ‘FREE – HELP YOURSELF’ sign.
There’s still more sorting to be done, but the boat is looking better. What surprised me most, is how good it actually felt. What I thought would stress me out, and the reason I’d be putting it off for so long, actually made me feel so much better. A sense of calm came over me, and it didn’t break me. Plus, now I have MORE SPACE FOR NEW THINGS! (I’m only slightly joking….)
Cleaning out one of our kitchen cupboards, I realised we had a great variety of nuts and seeds. They are great things to keep a good stock of, as we use them often. Perfect for a ‘throw-everything-in-a-bowl-granola-mix’. In my eagerness, none of this recipe was measured, apart from the syrup and coconut oil. Clear out those cupboards, chuck it in, mix it, bake it, and amp up your granola game.
Cacao Cashew Granola (v) (gf)
Rolled oats (I use certified gluten-free)
Large handful of cashews – roughly chopped
Small handful of hemp seeds
Shaking of raw cacao powder (at a guess I would say I used 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon date syrup
2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2 / 160 C
Add all dry ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine.
In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and date syrup over a low heat, whisk well.
Pour the melted mixture into the dry, making sure you give it a good stir to coat all the granola mix.
On a lined baking tray, spread out your granola mix (you may need to cook it in 2 batches)
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Be sure to stir the mix every 5-7 minutes, to stop it from catching.
Here’s some other Cacao and Cashew recipes:
The boat is currently moored in a nice secluded woody area, surrounded by humungous trees and fields of horses. It also appears to be a bit of a black hole, connection wise. No internet, no phone signal. Just me and my mind. It’s been both good and bad. I don’t like feeling disconnected. But I also know that this current world is full of too much information. My brain feels like a matrix of words and news sometimes, forever buzzing and processing all the information we have access to. Social media has made switching off and being present much harder. Anxiety levels are on the rise in everybody, because life has turned into one big popularity contest.
It scares me a lot, how much this world now relies on constant sources of information and technology. We’ve forgotten how to appreciate the simple things in life, like the birds singing their songs, fresh from their migration back to the UK, fields of yellow popping up as the warmer weather arrives, the crisp morning air. We need to revel in the marvel that is this beautiful planet. Put down that screen and look outside, and around you. Breathe life.
These bars are a great energy source, a vital addition to any lunchbox and a great snack for that afternoon stroll through the countryside. They’re also free of all the rubbish that you get in store bought bars.
Ever so slightly adapted from this fantastic one
Banana and Blueberry Granola Bars (v) (gf)
Makes 8-10 bars
2 very ripe bananas
3 tablespoons almond butter (homemade or you can use pre-bought, I love this one)
80ml date syrup
Large handful blueberries
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon hemp protein powder (I used this one)
200g gluten free rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
Handful cacao nibs
Handful pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
Line a baking tray with baking paper, and then grease it with coconut oil / EVOO
In a food processor, combine bananas, almond butter, coconut oil, date syrup, half of the blueberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until completely combined and you have a thick paste mixture.
In a frying pan, gently toast the nuts and seeds for 3-5 minutes, until slightly brown. Leave to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop the nuts.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, hemp powder, chia seeds, coconut, cacao nibs, the rest of the blueberries and toasted nut/seeds.
Stir the banana paste mix into the oat mix and combine.
Pour mix into your lined tray. Push down with a spatula to ensure mixture is evenly packed.
Bake for 30-40 mins, until lightly golden. These bars are quite soft, if you wish for them to be slightly crunchier, then bake for 10-15 more mins, but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
Leave to cool for 10 mins, then tip onto wire rack and let cool completely.
These will keep (in a sealed tub) for around a week.
Like these granola bars? Try these ones too:
Sometimes I stare at this screen for so long I think my eyes might turn into rectangular shapes. Willing words to flow into this box, but sometimes it doesn’t happen so easily. And that’s OK, sometimes just the recipe will do. So here it is.
I love granola, however recently my teeth have been super sensitive and I find most granola is too crunchy for my soft teeth. Once in a while, I’ll treat myself and ignore the sensitivity so I can enjoy one of my favourite things. This granola has a bit of everything, just the way I like it.
Whenever I cook quinoa, I cook WAY too much, and sometimes don’t know what to use the leftovers for. This is a great recipe to use it up. Oh, don’t forget this one too.
Good Morning Granola (v) (gf)
Makes one extra – large glass jar
250g organic oats (I used certified gluten-free)
200g cooked quinoa
60g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, pine and sunflower)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
50g cacao nibs (optional)
30g fresh ginger (grated)
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 scant teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons coconut oil
80ml maple syrup / agave
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
*1 egg white* – I used this as I find it helps the granola clump together. If you want your granola vegan, just leave it out.
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 / 180 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, add grated ginger.
In a pan, melt the coconut oil, stir in your maple syrup/agave and vanilla. Set aside for a few minutes, then add the egg white and whisk liquid.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix very well.
Spread the mixture onto your baking tray and bake in oven for approx. 45 mins, stirring often to avoid burning. You may have to bake this in batches.
Enjoy in a large bowl with a generous helping of cold almond milk.