I started making my own granola about a year ago and ever since I’ve really enjoyed experimenting and trying different recipes in search of the “perfect” granola. I’ve posted a few recipes on the blog already and they are all nice in their unique ways. Some have used egg whites for extra crispiness (and protein), different fats, nuts, fruits, and usually honey or agave for sweetness. Basically – the world of granola is free and you can use whatever nuts you have in your pantry, or whatever flavour combinations you like.
However, this particular granola is what I would serve if I had a little cafe somewhere. It’s the kind of breakfast item you’d see as a lighter option but it is so lush and so special. The baked cherries really make this a proper treat! This recipe doesn’t make as much granola as other ones you’d find on the blog so if you want to stock up for a couple of weeks double up on the granola ingredients. The roasted cherries I stored in a jar in the fridge and enjoyed with my granola (and porridge) throughout the week. I’d recommend eating them within the week though as they won’t keep for long.
Makes about 6 servings | Prep 10 mins + cooling | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegan | Dairy and Gluten Free
125g porridge oats;
50g whole almonds, roughly chopped;
2 tbsp mixed seeds;
2 tbsp coconut (or sunflower) oil;
4 tbsp maple syrup;
360g cherries, pitted and halved;
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar;
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with parchment. In a bowl mix together the oats, almonds and seeds. Heat the coconut oil, maple syrup and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Pour over the oat mixture and stir well. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring from time to time, until golden; set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, toss the cherries, sugar and vanilla with a pinch of salt. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender and some of the inky juices have leaked out. Cool slightly before serving with the granola and Greek yogurt, if liked.
Store the granola and baked cherries in airtight containers for up to a week.
Original recipe from Waitrose Food magazine, issue July 2016, available online here.
With more time on our hands at the moment, it’s the perfect time to make more homemade treats. Making your own granola is really easy and it will last you for several days (depending on how many are eating it of course). Perhaps you’ll enjoy this as much as I do and it’s likely you’ll rarely buy granola after this, even post-lockdown!
This is a recipe from Jordan Bourke which I got from The Guardian’s Feast (link below). I didn’t find spelt flakes, so used double the oats instead . I also ran out of coconut oil so used a combination of sunflower and coconut oil – still very tasty! I found hemp seeds in health shops like Holland & Barrett, some of which are still open. Just use more of the seeds and nuts if you can’t find them.The original recipe says the serving is for 8-10 portions but it has lasted me more than this.
Jordan Bourke’s Spelt, help seed and lemon zest granola
Makes 8-10 portions | Prep 10 mins | Cook 40 mins
Easy | Vegan | Dairy-Free
200g jumbo oats;
200g spelt flakes, or more jumbo oats, if you prefer;
80g shelled hemp seeds;
60g pumpkin seeds;
60g sesame seeds;
¼ tsp ground cinnamon;
1 unwaxed lemon, finely zested;
¼ tsp fine sea salt;
120ml maple syrup;
120ml coconut oil or sunflower oil, melted.
Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, spelt flakes, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.
Pour over the maple syrup and melted coconut or sunflower oil, and mix until everything is well coated.
Divide the mixture between two baking sheets and bake for 30–40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until golden. Remove and leave to cool completely, until crisp. Transfer to an airtight glass jar or resealable container and keep for up to two weeks.
Serve with: thick creamy yogurt, fresh fruit and honey (my personal favourite!).
Original recipe by Jordan Brouke in Guardian’s Feast, available online here.
Previously posted n the blog on this date (27th of March):
Homemade granola is so easy to make that you will probably never buy shop bought one again! Okay, big words, but I certainly have been enjoying my batch of homemade granola. You can easily adapt the nuts & dried fruit in the below recipe to your taste. I used dried papaya and pineapple, along with cashews and hazelnuts. This is my play on the BBC Good Food recipe and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
75g melted unsalted butter or coconut oil (for a vegan version);
70g maple syrup;
125g mixed dried pineapple and papaya, chopped.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the oats, cinnamon, nuts and a pinch of salt. Stir through the butter or coconut oil and the maple syrup. Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring halfway. Allow to cool down completely, then stir through the mixed dried fruit. Store in an airtight container.
Original recipe from BBC Good Food magazine May 2019 issue, available online here.
As September is starting, here is a summary of my Glasgow food highlights from August. In this post you can read about Glasgow’s new healthy lunch hot spot sprigg; a South side newcomer, Short Long Black; retro gaming bar Super Bario; as well as the pop up Bun Life in Strata and the very popular seafood restaurant, The Crabshakk in Finnieston.
££: Inexpensive (Coffee/Tea £2; Breakfast up to £3; Lunch up to £6). Good for: coffee, breakfast, lunch, healthy food.
You can find sprigg on Ingram street, occupying a compact space near the Gallery of Modern Art. They have a fantastic breakfast and lunch bar with a lot of healthy options to suit everyone’s food preference, including vegan/vegetarian diets. The breakfast bar includes a good number of toppings: a wide variety of fruit, granola, yogurts, fruit juices, seeds and more, which you can use to create your breakfast pot (£2) or bowl (£3). Lunch options are made and changed daily, but often you will see roast chicken (the honey and chipotle chicken is delicious), tuna, falafels, and an impressive number of other salad ingredients that you can use to make your own salad.
The portion sizes are very good value for money too – around £5-£6 for most lunch options. If salad isn’t your thing, sprigg also offers (sweet) baked potatoes, soups and the Freedom Bakery bread and pastries. Finally, they serve delicious The Good Coffee Cartel too which is definite bonus points! Sprigg is also fully cashless (more bonus points). All in all, sprigg only opened just over a month ago and I’m already very much in love with their food, drinks and what they are doing. They are staff are superb too, super friendly and always offer good banter. Definite recommendation when you are looking for breakfast/lunch on the go in the city centre.
Okay, I guess they are not that new having opened back in April, but Short Long Black are one of these hidden gems in a city where good brunching is becoming quite popular. Short Long Black have brought something different and new to the scene, which is currently crowded with hotcakes and pancake stacks (still delicious though), and change it up a little bit with a very small and focused menu, in which you will find interesting plays on the Waffle. Savoury and sweet options available, however, I have to say that the savoury waffle is one of the best thing I’ve eaten. I went for the Green Waffles, stuffed with halloumi (or you can chose bacon), while my friend opted for the courgette fritters (which also came in a waffle like shape). Both dishes were truly delicious and their coffee was as smooth as they come. This little cafe on Victoria road is definitely one to watch and it will be one I’ll be returning to hopefully frequently!
££: Standard Good for: Drinks, going out, games, entertainment – great for hanging out with friends!
Super Bario is a small pub located in Merchant City which delivers big on character, fun and atmosphere. I visited on a Friday night, around 10pm, and the pub was very busy with lots of buzz around coming from tables and arcade games all around. This is a superb spot for those of us who enjoy a bit of gaming, especially retro arcade games, and a good range of drinks.
Bun Life – City Centre – Asian food/street food / pop up
££: Moderate for the portion size (2 baos per portion for £7) Good for: sharing, quick lunch, baos
Bun Life is a pop up residing over at Strata, incidentally, one of my least favourite restaurants in Glasgow. However, Bun Life was definitely worth another visit to the city centre based restaurant! The menu is fairly small, a choice of five or so steamed bao buns with a good selection of toppings – panko haddock, massaman beef, chicken katsu, chilli and garlic tofu and more. They also offer a small selection of sides – kimchi sweet potato fries (yum!), chicken wings, katsu fries – to name a few. Finally, if you are into your desserts, you will be delighted to know they have on offer a couple of dessert baos as well. Marshmallows in a bao? Why not! We tried the panko haddock and chicken katsu baos, accompanied by sweet potato fries and they were indeed delicious. There were flavours bursting in every bao and I really enjoyed the good selection of fillings – it was hard to choose!
££: Moderately expensive (We paid around £40 pp, incl drinks) Good for: seafood, fine dining
The Crabshakk already has a fantastic reputation around Glasgow. If you like seafood you will love the Crabshakk. It’s a tiny restaurant on the Argyle Street Finnieston Strip. They specialise in seafood (as the name might suggest) and with Scotland’s fantastic seafood offering they offer really good quality food and ingredients. They have a daily menu and a standard menu to chose from and fantastic variety of various local/seasonal fish and seafood. To start with, we had oysters served with shallots in vinegar and Tabasco sauce. They were probably the best oysters I’ve eaten in Scotland. We also ordered some of the starters of the day – pickled herring, salmon sashimi and tried the home cured gravadlax. The latter of those was my favourite – the salmon was delicious and the portion size was just right, compared to the sashimi which was a fairly modest serving. For main, I had the Lobster with garlic butter and chips, while my friends had a Whole brown crab and a very decent portion of Mussels Mariniere. Everything was really fresh and full of flavour. The Crabshakk is definitely worth a visit when you are after some delicious seafood.
Look out for the September edition of “My Month In Food” at the end of the month/beginning of October!.