Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Lemon Maple Granola from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones.

It was one of those morning yesterday where I didn't want to get out of bed. I could have quite happily stayed under the covers all day with a pile of cookbooks to keep me company and thats it.

The only plus side was that I had homemade granola waiting for me, all I needed to add was thick greek yoghurt and fresh strawberries. It was amazing.

A few weeks ago I made the Lemon Maple Granola from Anna Jones's cookbook 'A Modern way to Eat' and then made it again since then it was so good. My old pickle jar which works great in its second life as a granola jar will soon be empty, I don't even think I can last until Friday which is a scary thought. I might be making a batch of granola after night classes on Thursday... I will have definitely gone granola mad if that happens. I need my fix in the mornings!!

I hated breakfast as a kid. How things have changed. My parents would drill it into me that I needed to eat a huge breakfast to get me through the day and they were right, I just never liked it. On week days, before school I would have to eat a bowl of fruit, a bowl of cereal and a piece of toast with a glass of orange juice to wash it all down. Weekend breakfasts weren't fun either, I hated eggs growing up so unless I got pancakes, breakfast was always a let down. I'd have rather eaten a bowl of spaghetti in the mornings instead.

Since I've grown up I love weekend breakfast and all eggs whether they are runny, hard, soft, scrambled, boiled, poached or fried but I never have time to make eggs of any sorts on the weekdays as I am running out the door like a mad woman. So for a while weekday breakfasts were a chore, I used to scoff down some dry cereal and that was that. Until I discovered home-made granola. It's a revelation. I'm fussy when it comes to cereals, they are either overly sweet, have too much 'fake' vanilla flavour or are heavy on the cinnamon and always have random bits of fruit in them. Making my own means I don't spend 5 minutes fishing out the mysterious yellow squares of dried fruit in my bowl that are listed as 'tropical' fruit on the box.

Anna Jones's Lemon Maple Granola is seriously delicious. The lemon gives is very subtle in the mix is a lovely freshness that gives you kick in the mornings and goes great with the sweet maple and earthiness of all the seeds and grains. It's quite a nubbly granola mix with all the seeds, baked dried fruit and nuts so goes great having some fresh fruit to serve with it and of course a healthy dollop or two of greek yogurt. It ticks all the boxes in the morning that a breakfast should do.

I now wake up and look forward to my granola in the mornings, just wish I could take it make to bed with me along with a book rather than leaving the house.

Thinking of making this one next which Amelia from Bon Appetempt makes with her son, Teddy. Am going on a dried cherry hunt this weekend, just need to hold out until then and refrain the crazy lady inside of me from making midnight granola.

Lemon Maple Granola

recipe adapted from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
makes 1 large jar

8 tablespoons maple syrup
2 large handfuls (150g) rolled oats
2 large handfuls (150g) quinoa flakes
1 handful (40g) pumpkin seeds
1 handful (40g) sunflower seeds
1 large handful (80g) almonds, chopped
1 handful (30g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
grated zest of 1 lemon
a handful (50g) of dried currants
a handful (50g) of dried cranberries

- Preheat oven to 180C or 400F and lightly grease two large baking trays with some butter or vegetable oil.

- In a large bowl add your oats, quinoa flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut, lemon zest and roughly mix until everything is spread evenly throughout. Pour over the maple syrup and give it a really good mix so all the little flakes and seeds are coated, don't rush this bit.

- Divide the mixture onto your two large trays and bake for a total of 30 minutes, but stir every 5-10 minutes to get an even colouring. You may need to bake it for a little longer or a little less, depending on how strong your oven is but in the last 10 minutes of baking try and throw in your dried currants and cranberries. This will turn them into sticky, almost caramelised, chewy nuggets throughout the granola.

- Once it is a lovely golden colour, allow to cool completely in trays then transfer cooled mix into an airtight jar or container. The granola will last up to 4 weeks, although mine never seems to last that long as the jar seems to be forever empty.

- Serve with some thick greek yoghurt and chopped fresh fruit.

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