Sunday, January 9, 2011
Breakfast. Supposedly the most important meal of the day, but also possibly the most contentious. Among my friends there’s a broad selection of breakfast eaters: the never-skip-it, the eat-it-because-it’s-good-for-you, the coffee-only, and the never-eat-it (also known as the don’t-have-timer). I myself used to be a staunch supporter of the don’t-have-timer club, frankly because I much preferred the extra twenty minutes sleep I could get if I skipped breakfast. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised how much better I feel (and function) with the help of a morning kick-start.
My problem has always been finding something to eat that is both quick (still like that extra few minutes), yummy, and healthy to start the day with. When I’m feeling energentic I’ll get in and cook up some poached eggs, or practice my less-than-spectacular omelette skills, but for the most part I’ll stick to cereal or toast, usually with vegemite or homemade jam slathered thick.
Since I like homemade jam so much I figured it was time to try (again) to make my own. I had a pile of peaches that had to be used, so it was the perfect time to try Tartelette’s Confiture de Peche. SO GOOD! So, so, so, so, SO good—and so incredibly simply it’s impossible to screw up. The only problem is stopping myself eating it straight from the jar.
While I was making jam, I figured I’d keep the breakfast train rolling and make another batch of my absolute favourite breakfast cereal. To be honest, I’m usually pretty anti-cereal. For the most part it’s either sugary or flavourless, and always gets so soggy so quickly.
Enter the super-cereal: granola! It’s filling, flavoursome, stays super crispy, and is pretty healthy if it’s made right. So how do you make it right? You make it yourself! I’ve spent the holiday season perfecting a granola recipe that was super delicious but also not too sugary, and finally came up with the one below last night. It’s a bastardisation of this one from Nigella Lawson, via Not Quite Nigella, which is also yummy but just a bit boring, and probably a wee bit too sweet, for me. Best thing about this granola—it tastes awesome straight from the packet as a late night snack.
2 ½ cups oats
½ cup sunflower seeds
175ml apple puree
½ cup golden syrup, or maple syrup
¼ cup brown or raw sugar
250g macadamias (or any other nut you like)
250g dried cranberries
250g coconut flakes
1. Combine all ingredients, excluding cranberries and coconut, in a large bowl, mixing until everything is covered with sticky goodness.
2. Spread mixture over two baking trays (or if you’re lazy like me just use one and turn the mixture more often).
3. Bake at 160-170C for about an hour, turning halfway through baking, until everything is golden.
4. Once cooled crumble any large chucks, and stir through cranberries and coconut, and store in an airtight container.