Roasted granola

Thank you to my favourite Australian magazine, delicious. as while reading the June issue I stumbled across the ‘Australian Flavours’ story on The Grounds in Alexandria, Sydney.

The Grounds is a recently opened industrial chic space set in a former pie factory which is a cafe providing house-roasted coffee, freshly baked bread and pastries and kitchen garden all in one. I miss brunch and coffee at places like this back home in Sydney, although I’m sure it won’t be going anywhere for a while.

I had to make the ‘roasted granola’ on page 88 from their recipe selection published which I adapted slightly with a more Canadian influence. I substituted sunflower oil for an organic virgin coconut oil to increase the flavour and health benefits. I prefer to use all organic products so the apricot was darker dried unsulphured apricots I also used half the amount of walnuts, no pepitas just sunflower seeds and more maple syrup and a little Fraser Valley blueberry honey. It was an easy transportable and sustaining breakfast we could enjoy at the cabin on Pender Island which was received well by all. This recipe will become one of my favourites.

Roasted Granola (makes about 15 serves).

Ingredients

1/2 cup (35g) shredded coconut

1/2 cup (125ml) virgin coconut oil

40g unsalted butter (I used Fraser Valley butter)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 Tablespoon Fraser Valley blueberry honey

1 tsp ground cinnamon

500g rolled oats

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (recipe also calls for 1/2 cup of pepitas)

1 cup (160g) almonds

1/2 cup (100g) walnuts, halved

1/2 cup (85g) raisins

1/2 cup (110g) dried apricot, thinly sliced

Method

1. Preheat oven to 266 F / 130 C. Stir in coconut, oil, butter, syrup, honey and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat for a few minutes until combined.

2. Scatter oats, seeds and nuts on a baking tray and pour over syrup, stirring well to coat.

3. Roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Add fruit and cook for a further 30 minutes or until crisp. Remove and cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Serving suggestion:- Taeberries and creamy yoghurt.  I discovered Taeberries at the local farmer’s markets on Pender Island, a blackberry-raspberry cross (similar to Loganberry). They are high in vitamin C and fibre and are a tangy sweet flavour.

Next, I will try to do Pender Island justice by writing about our weekend away at our friends’ cabin.

Enjoy!

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On the move muffins

Sometimes when life is busy, its great to get away for the weekend to peaceful surrounds. We were invited to go our friend’s cabin on Pender Island which is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located along the Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Of course, the first thought apart from the excitement of arriving there and participating in many outdoor activities such as hiking, beach time, fresh produce markets and games was what delicious treats could I make for us all?  I decided on some easily transportable goodies like my favourite muffins which are a little healthy, a little naughty and give you an energy boost when you need it. I am also making the most of local seasonal produce available at present, like sweet BC raspberries and blueberries.

The mini-muffins are easy for kids and easy to have one, two or more! We all love them and they work out every time. Fingers crossed they are a hit with our friends and their children too.

On the move muffins (makes approximately 45 mini-muffins)

Ingredients 

1 cup plain flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup carrot

1/2 cup apple

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup mixed raspberries and blueberries

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup

1/2 cup yoghurt (I use a peach variety)

rolled oats and icing sugar to decorate

Method

1. Preheat oven to 355 F / 180 C and grease two 24 mini-muffin pans well.

2. Sift flours, baking powder, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon into a large bowl. Add sugar and mix, then carrot, apple and walnuts and mix very well ensuring ingredients are evenly distributed.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla together for a minute or two and slowly pour in maple syrup while beating for another minute.

4. Add to the dry ingredients carefully folding in and then add the berries and yoghurt without over-mixing.

5. Spoon one to two teaspoons of the mixture for each muffin in the pans. You can decorate by sprinkling a few rolled oats on the top and bake for 12-15 minutes in a standard oven (or until skewer comes out clean).  Pop out of the pans after standing for 10 minutes and dust with icing sugar.

Please note: I prefer to enjoy these more in mini-muffin pans, however you can cook in the larger deep muffin pans for approximately 35 minutes. (Ensure you line the large ones with baking paper to remove easily).