I feel a bit stressed if I don’t have a stock of homemade granola available. It not only makes a great breakfast, but it also makes an even better late snack. Without it I have visions of myself absentmindedly tearing through a pile of double stuffed Oreo cookies while watching a Hollyoaks omnibus (Yes, I have very high / low tastes in television. Sue me.)
This nutty granola was the very first recipe I tried when I bought the Honestly Healthy cookbook more than two years ago. It is so simple to make, and it tastes absolutely delicious. Lately I have also been adding a 1/3 cup of quinoa to the granola which I feel adds a bit of depth to the flavor. The recipe in the book calls for:
1/4 cup dried dates
1 cup jumbo rolled oats
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup mixed cashews and pecans
15 grams raw pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
I double this which yields enough to fill a large Tala jar just because I go through it so quickly.
To prepare it all you have to do is simmer the dates in 1/2 inch of water until soft and then blend them until smooth (I just do this with the back of a fork until they break down into a paste.) Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Spread the mixture on to a baking tray and bake at 160°C for 15 minutes in a preheated oven until golden, then reduce the oven temperature to 110° and back for a further 30 minutes or until the mixture is dry and crisp.
Leave to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.
I cannot recommend the Honestly Healthy cookbook enough. The recipes in it are all pretty fantastic and really gave me such a new appreciation for vegetables. I no longer saw them as just an obligatory side dish because this book really showed me how wonderful and diverse cooking with vegetables could really be. I believe I went for about half a year solely cooking from this book and not eating meat. And to be perfectly honest I didn’t miss it at all. Even now that I have begun eating meat once again, I still have at least three or four meat free dishes each week, and that all stems back to this fantastic beetroot stained, page-stuck-together-with-tamari cookbook.
What I also learned, well what really began with cooking from this book, is just how satisfying cooking and putting thought and effort into what I was eating can really be. I have come to find it almost cathartic to take a bunch of ingredients, cook them together in a certain way, and then be left with a delicious meal or dessert (my day is not complete without a sweet) that I then get to share with people I love and enjoy. To me it is like a direct cause and effect exercise with often times (yes, I have had the few odd disasters here and there) a thoroughly tasty result.