Monday, 21 January 2013
Food challenges. Nutty Cinnamon Granola
I love thinking of treats to have when some friends come around. I usually have too many ideas, whether it's just a little gathering or a dinner party, and then I need someone to help me narrow it down, because I just get too excited.
But recently we planned to have some tea with my friend Anika. And Anika is no ordinary girl!! She has got a fabulously fit body, but she likes to be tough with herself and keeps to a really strict diet. No cheat days, no Christmas treats, no sweeties handmade by grandma.. And the died is: no chocolate, no sweeties and no biscuits. (I could do it. For a day. Ok, maybe two.) These can't be an ingredient either. And had a plan to make something nice and not too naughty to have with tea.. A tough one.
This challenge is not the most serious one I have had though. My friend Georgia is one of the most exciting eaters - she is allergic to fat. And no, it's not a silly thing that she just likes to say, she is properly allergic to fat, she can have things with no more than 4% fat in them. I absolutely love Georgia, because it means that I can have a whole weekend of excitement of thinking of interesting fat-free dishes. I am a bit sad.. But it makes me happy, so there you go! But then again, Anika's challenge took me about 2 days to figure out. And I finally did!! Granola with yoghurt it is.
It is one of the most personalise'able recipes ever. Almost every item in the ingredients list is optional and you can add whatever you want to it, however much of it you want. Try it!
The recipe is adapted from here.
Home-made granola with lots of nuts:
3 cups jumbo oats (the bigger the better, although I made this one with quite small ones (I didn't have any other ones..) and I loved it because they were really crispy!)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup almonds
2/3 cup cashew nuts
(+ any other nuts and seeds you like)
4 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
8 tbsp runny honey
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
Mix all the dry ingredients and pour in the oil and honey. Make sure all of it is well coated and there are no lumpy honey bits. Lay it on a tray (grease-proof paper helps if you don't like washing up :] ) and stick it in a 180C oven for about 3-5 minutes, take it out - mix. Put it in again, 3-5 minutes - mix. Do this for about 20-25 minutes, and I cannot emphasise enough to get it out every couple of minutes and give it a mix. It burns really quickly, especially on the sides and in the corners!
When it's done, you can have it with milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, pieces of dried fruit, pieces of fresh fruit... the possibilities are endless!
So, do you have a specific dish that you do when you have guests? Or a dinner party favourite? Or friends that put you up with challenges? What do you do? Please let me know! Maybe my lists will be expanded with all your lovely ideas :]