Tag Archives: granola

Granola bars to fuel my winter runs

This again is adapted from the ever so plentiful blog of David Lebovitz “Living the sweet life in Paris”, of which my regular readers will know I am a fan!

At the moment I am running a fair bit and sometimes even in the rain or at dusk, so the promise of a warm drink and one of those energy packed bars is a big bonus at the end of a wet and cold run.

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Ingredients list:

  • 1 1/2 cups (150g) rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (45g) sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup (60g) whole almonds
  • ½ cup (60g) walnuts bits
  • 1 cup (125g) pitted and diced dates
  • 1/3 cup (50g) dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (35g) dried sour cherries or cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (35g) sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup (65g) smooth natural peanut butter or any nut butter
  • 1/4 cup (80g) honey
  • pinch of salt

Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) square pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

Spread the oats and sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking, until they are slightly browned. Scrape them into a large bowl. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely break in a pestle and add the almonds to the oats.

Add the dates, chocolate chips and cranberries to the bowl.

Heat the peanut butter, honey, and salt in a small saucepan, stirring until warm, but not boiling. Pour the peanut butter and honey over the mixture in the bowl and stir until it’s completely incorporated; using your hands is the best way to go. DO not use a sweet peanut butter, just a natural one. You do not want a sickly sweet bar!

Transfer the mixture to the pan and pat it down so it’s as flat as possible. I put a sheet of baking paper over and just pushed down with my palm until it was flat! Freeze the granola bars for 30 minutes before eating them. I keep them in a metal box in my fridge and they stay fresh for longer.

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My run along the river at dusk! Beautiful and cold.

My run along the river at dusk! Beautiful and cold.

Same run in morning light.

Same run in morning light.

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Superfood granola

Granola is a relatively new comer on the food scene- I don’t recall eating anything like that when I was younger. But it is a very worthy addition to a health-conscious larder and even though there are some delicious shop-bought versions, it remains a luxury product. Given it is such an easy thing to make in big quantities, I would really recommend you try doing your own customised version from time to time.

Best homemade breakfast

I do realise that this is my second Granola on the blog but they are very different: the previous one had the smoky and rich taste of treacle and held into clumps because of the butter content ; while this new one is a finer, paler edition and has a delicate hint of citrus with the addition of grated lemon and orange zest. I also really love the coconut shavings I’ve added! Let’s say it’s a springtime version…

I have it in the morning with oat milk, for a snack directly from the jar and if coming back hungry from late night outing, I enjoy it over yogurt with a hint of honey or agave syrup. You can have it with milk, add fresh fruit to it, the combinations are endless…

Ingredients list:

  • Rapeseed oil (with dash of linseed oil) 160ml
  • Maple syrup 120ml
  • Rolled oats 200g
  • Barley or quinoa flakes 50g (optional)
  • Agave syrup 2 Tbsp
  • Mix of pecan nuts, linseeds, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower and linseeds
  • Coconut shavings or ground coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of one orange and one lemon

Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add the oil and mix it in.

Add the maple syrup and rub it all in.

This time I used some toasted coconut shavings that I had found at Wholefoods and they were a great addition! But if I don’t have them I’ll try something else!

I love experimenting with new flavours and the hint of citrus brought in by the zest makes my morning every day at the moment! Aromatherapy tells us that lemon and orange essential oils are both uplifting and energising so I feel this is therapy as well as a meal.

Spread the mix into a shallow dish and place in the middle shelf of your oven for no more than 40 min at 150°. Slowly baking is best. It is ready when toasted and golden. A low oven is important because the seeds burn easily.

Homemade granola

>Ingredients list:

45 g butter

2 Tbsp rapeseed oil

1Tbsp treacle

200g porridge oats (I used a blend of oats and quinoa flakes)

2tbsp agave syrup

150g raisins, nuts and seeds mix : linseed, sesame or pumpkin are all good!

Melt the butter in a medium pan.

Add the 
Agave syrup and the treacle. It is easier to get the treacle out if you use the spoon you have just dipped into the warm butter.

Add the oil. Keep aside warm.

Put all the dry ingredients together 
in a big bowl, then pour in the melted butter and mix.

A wild garden, last summer

Now choose a healthy mix of nuts, seeds and dry fruit. Choose anything you like! My own favourite is a blend of currants, sesame seeds, linseeds, pumkin seeds and brazil nuts, roughly chopped up. Mix it in.

Pour on a tray, being careful not to have too thick a layer or it will roast unevenly.

Bake in a hot oven (180°) in the middle shelf for about 20 min but watch and shake from time to time so it does not burn! It does so very quickly and you want golden, not black…

Enjoy with yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast or after a light dinner. Here you are, Pauline, as requested – Hope you didn’t have to wait too long!