I love granola and have made various different types over the years. Sometimes the mix comes out of the oven and develops lovely stuck together chunky bits and sometimes it doesn’t really chunk together at all. This one is the latter type, more roasted oats than granola but perfect sprinkled over yogurt. I like this layered up with banana, blueberries and greek yogurt.
I find when making granola that it’s really easy to overcook and burn. I’ve had many mixes where the oats are lovely but the dried fruit or nuts are burnt. So now I add the ingredients in batches to ensure nothing burns.
Coco Choc Roasted Oats (makes a small kilner jar full – 1/2 litre size)
- 100g oats
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 3 tbsp coconut oil – melted
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 25g coconut flakes
- 30g dried mango – diced
- 50g raisons
- juice of one lime
Heat oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Mix the oats with the cacao powder. Add 2 tablespoons of the melted coconut oil and make sure the oats are well coated. Evenly spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 10 minutes (shake the baking sheet after 5 minutes).
Turn the oven down to 160c/325f/Gas 3.
To the oats, add the desiccated coconut, the coconut flakes and most of the lime juice (save a couple of teaspoons worth). Mix well and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
Then add the dried mango and raisons, the rest of the melted coconut oil (1 tbsp) and the rest of the lime juice. Mix in well and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Take out of the oven to cool before storing in an air tight jar.
I’ve been snacking on this since I made it last night – fortunately there was enough left for breakfast this morning.
Back in the early 80’s my mum started buying All Bran for our breakfast and strangely I really liked it. They had a recipe on their packets for an All Bran malt loaf that I use to make all the time. I lost the original recipe many years ago but I’ve tried to reproduce it a few times. This one seems to work and I cooked it last night so I could enjoy it for breakfast today – of course I did try a sample last night too. It’s lovely with butter and jam, or almond butter and banana or any combination you like. I like a side of orange – it means I get to eat the orange that I used for the grated rind in the same meal, if it lasts that long.
Retro Bran Loaf
- 100g All Bran
- 70g soft brown sugar
- 200g dried fruit (I used a mix of goji berries, raisons and diced apricots. Make sure you dice up any larger dried fruit like dates and prunes.)
- Grated rind of one orange
- 250ml Coconut milk (you can use any milk, but I like this combination best)
- 160g SR flour
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- Mix all the ingredients, apart from the flour, together in a bowl and leave to soak in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Then add the flour and mix well. It will look quite gloopy.
- Pour into the tin and cook for around 40 minutes at 170c/Gas 3/325f
- I have a fan oven so do keep a check – you may need a little less or a little more time.
This doesn’t rise very much as it’s quite a dense loaf – so don’t worry if it looks a bit flat – mine always look flat, as you can see in the photo. It’s still delicious.
Also if you find you’ve added all the ingredients together at the beginning before soaking – including the flour by mistake – don’t worry, I’ve done that! It doesn’t seem to make any difference to the bake.
My diet has been very carb focused for the past few days and today I woke up feeling rather heavy and just wanted something really light. I call this my Resetter smoothie because it’s very low fat, very light and helps me to reset my carb cravings (for a while).
I usually like to use frozen pears as it adds a nice chill to the drink but fresh is good too. I struggle to find pears that are just the right ripeness, they always seem to be too hard or overripe, so when I find some in the shops that are just right, I buy a load, core and chop them into slices and freeze them. They work brilliantly in smoothies.
I added a date because I wanted just a tiny bit more body but you could easily leave it out for a super light drink.
The Resetter Smoothie (serves 1)
- A handful of kale and spinach (that’s one handful, half spinach and half kale, not one handful of each)
- Chunk of cucumber (about 4cm)
- Cube of fresh ginger (about 1cm)
- 1 pear (fresh or use frozen slices)
- 1 medjool date (or 2 smaller ones) – or you can miss this out
- 200ml water (add a bit more for a thinner smoothie)
If you used fresh pear – then add an ice cube or two to the blender to make a cooler smoothie
Blend it all together
I woke up feeling hungry and thirsty – this is happening a lot at the moment due to upping my running mileage. Although to be fair even if I do nothing I always wake up hungry. I wanted a quick filling breakfast so went for my favourite quick smoothie plus some extra toast on the side. I’ve called this my Snicky smoothie because the taste reminds me a little bit of a snickers bar, although probably a little healthier. The spinach lessens the guilt and you really can’t taste it at all.
The Snicky Smoothie (serves one)
- 250ml almond milk (I use unsweetened)
- A handful of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 tsp almond butter
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- 1 medjool date (or 2 smaller ones if you don’t have these)
- A banana (I save a bit of my banana for my toast)
Blend it all together.
This one is for lovers of orange fruits. It’s vibrant and refreshing, definitely a sunny breakfast. It’s quick and easy with a little bit of prep and overnight soaking, then you’re ready to go. I added the cacao nibs at the last minute as I fancied a touch of bitter crunch against the citrus sweetness, but actually it’s good without anything added. I prefer my mix at room temperature, so I took the glow mix out of the fridge before I headed off to walk the dog.
Orange Glow in a glass (serves one)
- Juice and grated zest of one orange
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp goji berries
- 3 dried apricots – diced
- 15g dried mango – diced
- Handful of blueberries (around 50g)
Put all of the above in a bowl, mix it up, cover and leave overnight in the fridge. All the juice will be absorbed by the seeds and dried fruit.
- Natural Greek Yoghurt (I just dollop what I fancy, but it’s probably around 100-150ml
- Raw cacao nibs to sprinkle on top if desired)
In the morning layer up the orange glow mix with the yoghurt and sprinkle the nibs on top.
A lovely bright sunny morning today so coming back from walkies to this glowing glass was quite uplifting.
I love the mixture of spices, fruit and sweetness in an apple crumble and I especially like the crumble toppings, so having a variation of it for breakfast is a real treat. I love nutmeg so tend to sprinkle quite a lot, but it is powerful so take it easy if you’re not sure. The freeze dried apple I found recently in Tesco when I was looking for dried apple and it does add some lovely sweetness to the crumble topping, but you could use diced dried apple or leave it out completely. I always have ice cream with my crumble but not for breakfast! So I added a side of crème fraiche which adds a little more richness. Natural yoghurt would work as well, or you could push the boat out and use cream.
Apple Crumble Poragie (serves one)
- 1 apple – cored, but you don’t need to peel
- 4 blackberries
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- A sprinkle of nutmeg (I grated around 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 200ml Almond milk (I used unsweetened)
- 40g porridge oats
- 50-100ml tap or filtered water
- 4-5 hazelnuts – crushed
- 1 tsp brown sugar (I used demerara for it’s coarse texture)
- few bits of freeze dried apple – crumbled up
- A few blackberries
- Crème fraiche or yoghurt or cream
In a good blender, blend the apple, 4 blackberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and almond milk. Once blended tip into a saucepan and mix in the oats. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add as much water as you need to stop it sticking and get the consistency you like (or you could add more milk for a richer poragie).
For the topping – mix the crushed hazelnuts, sugar and apple together to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle on top and add some blackberries.
Add some crème fraiche, yoghurt or cream on the side.
Today’s dog walk was very wet, cold and windy so this was a warming treat once i’d dried out. I ate it in front of the fire with the dog snoozing peacefully.
I love muffins and think they make the perfect on the go breakfast. It’s easy to grab one from the freezer for a journey to work. However I still want my breakfast muffins to be relatively healthy and not too sugary sweet. I came up with these after having a glut of parsnips on my allotment – there is only so much parsnip soup I can eat. The parsnip adds moisture in the same way as carrot does in carrot cake, and the muffins do not taste of parsnip at all. The warm spices give a lovely comforting smell. These are lovely cold or slightly warmed. I like to eat mine with fruit and yogurt.
I made a batch of these yesterday and enjoyed one for breakfast this morning after another very cold dog walkies.
Parsnip and Orange Muffins
- 175g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice (I usually add 2 because I love the extra hint of spice)
- 50g raisons
- 225g parsnips – finely grated
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 1 orange – grated rind and juice
- 3 eggs
- 150ml sunflower oil
- Set the oven for 180c/350f/Gas 4
- Grate the rind and juice the orange. Soak the raisons in the orange juice for 10 mins or more.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, spices, orange rind and grated parsnips in a bowl.
- In another bowl mix together the sugar, sunflower oil, eggs and raisons (drain them but keep the juice handy). Make sure everything is well mixed together, give it a little beat.
- Mix both bowls together and then add around 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. You want the mix look like a smooth batter (with a lot of parsnip), but not runny.
- Spoon into muffin cases ( I line my muffin tin with muffin cases) – makes 8-10 large muffins. I fill the cases pretty much up to the top.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be firm and bounce back when pressed. Remove from tin (but not the paper cases) and cool on a rack.
These can be kept for 2 days and still taste fresh. Or freeze individually to grab one when you want.