Berry Nice Granola

Sometimes when I am alone in the house I blare music ( I am scared the neighbours will come in sometime to stop the party and find me alone) .

Sometimes I lie for no reason at all it just come out of my mouth I can’t control it.

Sometimes I lie awake in bed and wonder what I will be like in ten years time.

Sometimes (if no one is looking) I drink straight out of cartons and put them back.

Sometimes when I am sweeping the floors I just sweep everything out of the room and in to another.

Sometimes I spend hours at a time browsing food blogs on the internet and then  next time forget which good blogs I found. Pinterest  as reduced this problem greatly

Sometimes I stink my hand in the Granola jar and pick out all the cranberries or almonds, to eat.

I just love granola its my one weakness,
I came upon this granola recipe when I was spending hours browsing food blogs. I printed it out and kept meaning to make it, but things just kept putting me off – lack of ingredients, lack of time and the really good shop bought granola from Lidl. Finally I decided to make it and am I glad I did. Mammy said it was the best granola yet (and we are a granola family, we have a granola jar).

Berry Nice Granola

  • 300g rolled oats
  • 50g whole or chopped almonds and hazelnuts
  • 120g sunflower seeds
  • 50g of pumpkin seeds
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 20g wheat germ
  • 125ml unsweetened apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • dried berries (preferably unsweetened or naturally sweetened with fruit juice)

Preheat oven to 160 C. Mix oats, seeds, wheatgerm, apple juice, sunflower oil in a bowl, then spread out evenly on a baking tray ( I like to add the dried fruit at this stage as they get chewy.)
Bake, turning and mixing often, for about 45 minutes
Remove from oven and leave until cool.
Serve with yogurt or milk. You can keep it in an airtight container for about two weeks (  or granola jar).

Advertisements

Banana and Coconut Muffins

I had one of those days. You know the kind of days that you loose everything goes wrong. It all started with me skipping my dinner the night before, I then woke up in the middle of the night starving so at 2 am I went to and had a mini feast. I then was too full to sleep so I lay in bed for ages.  After much tossing and turning I decided to open the window. This made set off the house alarm waking the whole family and causing a lot of shouting generally in my direction. I then woke up with a slight sinus infection which meant I couldn’t put my contacts in so I spent the whole day going around blind, as I hate my glasses. None of  my formulas  would work out in physics class and I had to sit alone in English at the top of the class.  My head heart the whole day and  piano after school I just couldn’t concentrate. The loud banging of the notes only made my head hurt even more. At home I couldn’t wrap my head around Pascals Triangle  for maths homework. After 12 attempts I finally finished my physics question. I popped two Panadol and continued on. I began quoting Dido “wondering why got out of bed at all”. I noticed the black banana in the fruit bowl and my spirit began to perk up, coconut and banana muffins I thought. What I love about these is the mixture tastes just as good raw plus bananas contain tryptophan that the body converts into serotonin. Bananas can make you relax, feel happier and improve your mood and the potassium improves brain power and makes you more alert which I am going to need to be in class if I want to master Pascals Triangle.

Banana and Coconut Muffins adapted from Rachel Allens fruity muffins

  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml of milk
  • 100ml of natural yogurt
  • 75ml of sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 225g of plain flour
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 100g of wholemeal flour
  • 70g of brown sugar
  • 1 banana mashed
  • 50g of dessicated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line muffin tray with 12 cases.  Mix all the wet ingredients together including the banana. In another bowl sift the plain flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the wholemeal flour, coconut and sugar. Fold into the wet ingredients. Be careful not to over mix. Divide the  mixture between the muffin cases. Cook for 20-25 minutes. The tops should spring back gently when cooked. Allow to stand in the tin for 102 minutes than transfer to a wire tray to cool. 

Nearly Sugar Free Cookies


I am officially back to school, no more lazy days or dossing I am into the full swing of 5th year work and study.  Home work has been a foreign word to me for over a year. Somebody described the transition from 4th year to 5th as “stepping out into bright light after spending the last year in a dark room. Last year I didn’t even have a pencil or pen in my pencil case but as I have been reminded by teachers and relatives I now begin a two year course that ends with the big LC- Leaving Certificate. I shudder at the thought. I have two years of left in my little school where teachers know my name and people look out for me then it is out into the big bad world. This time next year I will be filling out my CAO form and deciding what path to take, it all seems so scary.  I have no idea what I want to do or be, the options are limitless but yet I seem constrained in the choices can make. I can wait one more year before I really have to worry about all of that.

I am only two days into school and it seems just like I never left. My evening are now packed with homework but I still have tim e to make these cookies which are not really sugar free at all because as one of my teachers used to say “what do you call nearly right? …. wrong”, they contain maple syrup and chocolate chip, but you don’t have to litterly but sugar into them so I like to think they are that little bit healthier.

 

“Kinda” Sugar Free Cookies- adapted from Leon: Baking and Puddings

  • 280g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 200g chocolate chips or chunks ( I used half dark and half milk)
  • 50ml honey
  • 200ml maple syrup
  • 75g unsalted butter, melted
  • 75ml of sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl (including the chocolate chips or chunks).
3. Mix together all the wet ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until they are well combined, but do not over-mix.
5. Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough on to the prepared baking tray.
6. Bake in the oven for only 11 minutes ( I tried 10 and they just need that extra one), and allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

Back to school lunch rolls

The end of August means one thing back to school. Back to school means new pens , teachers and homework but also with the start of school their is an attempt to make better lunches. This resolution, despite it’s best intention usually lasts about two months at most, before I return to sliced bread sandwiches. Yesterday after my first day of school I came up and made a brown/white/spelt roll for school lunch. I simply weighed out whatever flour I had in the press (left over from my summer bread making spree) added salt and yeast then mixed in some water, then added more yeast. I kneaded it for a little while – it allowed me to take my anger out on the starting of 5th year. I put in back in the bowl and forgot about it for about two hours. Then took it out cut it into squares, dipped in semolina and cooked for about 30 minutes. The result was a delicious roll/bap perfect holding all sort of fillings for a school lunch. Much better than a Sliced pan sandwich.

Suggestions for school lunch

Home made rolls filled with your choice salad, carrot and hummus

These lovely wraps mmmm….

This yummy quinoa salad

These muffins are top of my must try for lunch 

Bread Rolls

500g of flour (200g of spelt, 150g of strong white flour and 150g of whole wheat flour)

7g of yeast

400ml of water

7g of salt

40ml of olive oil

semolina for dusting

Put the flour in a bowl add the salt to one side and the yeast to another.  Pour in the 4/4 of the  water and oil. Mix the dough together until it forms a rough dough.  Add the rest of the water if needed you might not need to add the rest of the water, the dough should be soft but not sloppy. Tip the dough out onto a oiled surface and knead for about 10 minutes ( hard work but you “knead” to do it) Oil a square container and put the dough back in. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2-3 hours. When the dough has more than doubled in size and is springy to touch tip it out again onto a surface dusted sithe semolina. Try to keep as much air in the dough as possible so work gently with it. Cut it into 8-10 equal amounts and shape into a square by tucking the dough in underneath.Place on tray dusted with semolina and leave for ten minutes. At this point you could brush the rolls with milk and top them with seeds of your choice. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C. Cook for 25-30 minutes.