Tag Archives: river

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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Sausage rolls and picnic eggs for a Royal week-end up river

This gallery contains 11 photos.

I had never attempted puff pastry or picnic eggs but I did both last week-end for a picnic we were taking to the river.  Being the royal wedding bank holiday, I wanted to put together a very British luncheon and … Continue reading

>Kamut flour bread

>I tried making bread this morning with a new interesting ingredient: Kamut flour, found in Waitrose – or some health shops. It is the ancestor of spring wheat (or durum wheat). As such, it is closer to ancient wheat and is supposed to be more digestible even by wheat intolerant people. The grains carry 30% more proteins than wheat and contains vitamins and minerals as well as gluten.

Kamut is a trademark meaning “Wheat” in ancient egyptian but the grain istself is called Korasan and originates probably in the fertile crescent. But the actual grains were brought back by a US serviceman from Egypt, in the years after the second world war.

Unlike common wheat it has never been subjected to genetic modification and is exactly the same grain found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaohs. Indeed, 36 of these were found in King Tut tomb for the first time in 1949.

Like Spelt, it is not linked to allergies, and I actually mixed one third of spelt with it because I was unsure how heavy the mix would be on its own.
In fact it produced a golden, chewy bread with a moist texture and a slightly nutty taste. No picture because I baked it for a trip on the boat down river and it got eaten entirely by the time we got back! Our friend Pascal thought it tasted a bit like brioche which is nice since it contained no butter or milk.

Ingredients list:
Kamut flour 400g
Wholemeal Spelt flour 200g
450 ml warm water
salt 1 tsp
Quick yeast 1 tbsp

Mix everything in a large bowl until you get a sticky ball, feeling elastic when you pat it with a wooden spoon. Cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm kitchen corner for the night, or 1 hour min. In the morning, the ball has raised but only little with these type of flours. Take it onto a floured surface and knead gently, adding flour if it sticks to your fingers. Make a nice round loaf onto a lined baking tray and leave to raise again for 1/2 hour under a bag again while you get your oven to 220°C.

Bake for 20 to 25 min. Wrap into a cloth and slip into the picnic basket. We ate this with hummus and dips while going down-river with some nice friends! I chose to ignore the clouds and focus on the peace of the Bank Holiday.

I love watching London from the river: Everything looks so different and so quiet… One can hardly imagine how bustling and noisy the river Thames was only a century ago when ships were so crucial to trade and London was a port as well as a commercial hub.

A bit more information on the Kamut trademark:

The following specifications are laid out by Kamut International Ltd.
KAMUT® brand wheat must:
1. Be the ancient khorasan variety of wheat
2. Be grown only as a certified organic grain
3. Have a protein range of 12 – 18%
4. Be 99% free of contaminating varieties of modern wheat
5. Be 98% free of all signs of disease
6. Contain between 400 and 1000 ppb of selenium
7. Not be used in products in which the name is deceptive or misleading as to the content percentage
8. Not be mixed with modern wheat in pasta