Hey, I have some news:
1. I am a little ashamed of my inconstancy – I changed my blog’s design again and I can’t be sure whether this time it would be for good :) But it looks very cute now!
2. I will be running a translated version on my recipes for my Russian-speaking crowd and hopefully for new audience. Exciting! The Russian Edition blog can be found at TastyTravelingRu. I will continue to cherish an idea of having enough time to combine the two under one name and create a multiblog one day :)
3. Today I want to share one of my favourite recipes – it’s Honey Granola and I’m sure you’ll love the simplicity and the taste of this recipe too.
Two years ago I started making granola at home instead of buying it in stores. Reasons – I control the quality of foods that goes in it, I don’t have to compromise the taste, choosing between a “light” version that has supposedly no fat and sugar and also tastes like rubbish or regular ones that are so sugary-sweet it is unbearable. Or, even if the taste is bearable for you, check how much sugar it has – it should be written on the back of the pack? Yes, all this “healthy” granola… Leaving out unnecessary fats and sugars in my every meal but still being able to enjoy my favourite foods is why my getting in shape experiment was successful. Now, believe me it is easy to make it at home and you should make it if you like it! Find just 10-15 min to make preparations, 40 min to bake and 1 hour to cool down and you can store it for 2-3 weeks and add different fruits and spices in every batch.
- 2 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
- 1/2 cup walnuts and almonds
- 1 cup dried fruits, packed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 4-6 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp orange zest
Preheat oven to 165C/330F, no fan.
In a big bowl mix rolled oats, nuts, olive oil, melted butter, cinnamon, salt and honey. Mix well so the oats are evenly coated. That’s all! Can you believe it? :)
The amounts of honey and cinnamon will vary depending on your taste – I added 1 tsp cinnamon and 6 tbsp honey and granola has a very strong cinnamon taste and is sweet. Well, we eat it will milk or plain yogurt so it balances out the taste and we like it this way at home. So feel free to cup down to 4 tbsp but not less because you need your oats to be well coated.
Lay a piece of parchment (baking paper) on a baking tray, lay your granola mix in the middle and even out with a spatula – the layer shouldn’t be too thin or it will burn. Ignore the pieces of banana on the picture – I was experimenting with it and it has nothing to do with granola. Well, except that I later made oven baked dried bananas to add to granola later :) But that will be the next recipe.
Put your baking tray with granola in the oven and bake for 20 min. After 20 min, take it out and carefully (because the tray is hot) with a spatula flip granola piece by piece so the side will bake evenly. Meanwhile prepare the dried fruits – cut it in small pieces, as you please. The variety of dried fruits leaves a lot to imagination – use your favourite fruits and variations! I added dried figs, apricots, two types of raisins and dried bilberries (red european blueberries).
Keep an eye on the oven and look for granola not to be burnt, because every oven is different. You can adjust the baking time by 5-10 min.
After another 20 minutes take the tray out, add dried fruits, mix everything together carefully and put back to the oven for the final 3-5 minutes. Take granola out, at this point it will still look a bit “soft” and not crunchy but you have to let it cool first before judging it :) After an hour the mix of oil, butter and honey will finally cool down and set and you will have the crunchiest granola ever! Simply break it in pieces and store in an airtight container. I kept a zip-bag from granola I bought in a supermarket last month (yes, the “light” one with no taste) and used it. You can also use plastic zip-bag but make sure there’s not a lot of air inside of the bag.
This granola is good for breakfast with milk or yogurt, or even on its own as a snack while watching your favorite tv show or instead of cookies with a cup of tea :)
Enjoy :) And let me know if you tried out the recipe!