And if you don't have to spend your monday morning tapping mindlessly away on a computer for your £18K-£20k a year, what better way to spend it than lazily baking some granola?
I've recently been given Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (thank you, H) and it has swiftly and gracefully moved to the top spot on my list of favourite cookbooks. Usually when I receive a cookbook, I flick straight through to the cakes and desserts and go through the rest later, but this drew me in immediately. I even bothered to read the narrative between the recipes, virtually unheard of for me. It is a wonderful book, beautifully written and I've already cooked 5 recipes out of it, two of which are below. The premise is one of healthy food that isn't immediately obvious as healthy/diet like, which couldn't have come at a more perfect time for myself as my commitment to my diet and it's rather bland offering in terms of foods has waned dramatically. I must say that I've been following the recipes for a week or so and have already lost 2lbs. Anyway, enough of singing my praises for this book.
I love granola. I'm not overly fond of cereal, mainly because I hate cereal that's even vaguely soggy and I don't particularly enjoy bolting down a bowl of cornflakes in 30 seconds flat because after that it's too soft for my taste. For the same reason, I don't enjoy granola with milk, but crunchy, sweet granola with a bowl of sharp, creamy greek yoghurt is an edible pleasure rarely matched.
In comparison to other granolas I've made, the ingredient list is relatively short, which is no bad thing. As it baked the house was, as promised in the recipe, filled with the homely scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and when I stuck my face into the bowl, if I hadn't known better I'd be certain I was mixing up christmas pudding.
Makes enough to nearly fill a large airtight jar (or serves 4-6 people)
Oil for greasing
200g rolled oats
70g pumpkin seeds
50g flaked almonds
50g dessicated coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
160g agave syrup/honey
2 tbsp apple juice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
100g dried apricots, chopped
-Preheat the oven to 180C and lightly oil a large baking tray/cookie sheet
-In one bowl combine all of the dry ingredients (except the apricots) and the spices and in another the wet ingredients, then mix the wet into the dry.
Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and use a spatula to smooth it down. Bake for around 40 minutes, turning the mix over halfway through cooking, until golden brown.
When baked, allow to cool and then mix in the chopped apricots and store in an airtight container.
By the time this was baked I'd already eaten breakfast (also a recipe from the book- portobello mushroom with a slice of goat's cheese and a poached egg on top) so I can't wait until tomorrow morning.
Edit: Here's the finished granola in all it's morning glory: