I blame the yoghurt. No really…if there is one thing that the UK does exceptionally well (above all of the other obvious things), it’s producing amazing yoghurt. I can’t get enough of the stuff and am always looking for ways to eat more. Granola was a natural progression: being pregnant I’ve had a hankering for crunchy salty-sweet things, so adding this to my yoghurt (yes, not adding yoghurt to my granola) was undoubtedly unavoidable. Buying high quality, low sugar granola can get expensive, and honestly, the taste and texture of the fresh, home-made stuff is infinitely more satisfying and delicious. Plus you know exactly what’s going into it – I like to keep track of just how much sugar our family is taking in – not obsessively or anything, but there’s no point in overdoing it where it’s not necessary.

As for flavours, there are no hard and fast rules here…I encourage you to mix it up and add in whatever you have on hand or whatever you’re craving at the time. This version is my “Salted Almond*, Cranberry & Maple”, but as long as the majority of proportions stay the same, you can mix the ingredients up in endless variations. I love the “Tropical Twist” as well which uses desiccated coconut; dried papaya, mango, and banana; and honey instead of the Maple Syrup. For those with a sweet tooth [read: chocoholics] try the “Choco-Banana-Oat”: replace dried fruits with coarsely chopped dark chocolate and dried banana chips. Top with real vanilla yoghurt and you’re in heaven! This one is my current obsession, but once it’s gone the next batch will probably be a “Nutella” inspired chocolate-y hazelnut version. Depends on where these 9th month ‘must have’ desires lead me.

*we have an anaphylactic nut allergy in the house so I like to use Blue Diamond Almonds when I can as they are guaranteed not to be cross contaminated. If you’re looking for dairy and allergen free chocolate, I also highly recommend the Enjoy Life brand – it’s been a lifesaver (literally) for our family.

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Low Sugar Granola
Servings Prep Time
7-8cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
7-8cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
25-30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4cups organic large steel cut oats
  • 2cups mixed seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, flax, etc.
  • 1cup dried cranberries
  • 1cup Blue Diamond (or other) salt roasted almonds - roughly cut
  • 1/4cup EVOO
  • 1/4cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Mix the oats, seeds, and nuts together. Add the olive oil and maple syrup and stir well. Reserve fruit (or chocolate) for later.
  2. Line your largest rimmed cookie sheet with parchment and spread the mixture in as thin a layer as possible. Bake at 350F (170C) for 25-30 minutes making SURE to flip, mix and stir every 3-4 minutes or so - you definitely don't want to burn this.
  3. Once the mixture is evenly golden brown, remove from oven and pour ingredients into a large mixing bowl to stop baking. Stir in the fruits or chocolate and set to cool (if using chocolate it will melt a bit here - which is a good thing!).
  4. Once cooled completely, store granola in airtight jars and devour at leisure. Mixture will keep for at month in a cool, dark spot.

 

Easy Low Sugar Granola
(100%) 1 rating 5

One of my favourite things about being over here in the UK is the general love of all things pickled that this country has. Ok…maybe it’s because I’m pregnant right now – the cliche stands – but I just can’t get enough of anything fermented, pickled and  preserved. When I came across these gorgeous cherries in our local market I new I had to pop them in some vinegar and see what happened – the results were insanely good! Served alongside some spiced chorizo, caramelised onion aged cheddar (current craving), and crispy crackers with a pint (or in my case a small sip) of dark ale, they reached near pickle perfection. I’ll be making loads more of these for summer evening snacks here on the farm and can’t wait to switch it up with other summer fruits. If you mix up the spices or fruits let me know what the results are – can’t get enough pickles!

ps – next time I’m adding in some spicy peppers as well as peppercorns – these are great as is but a good hot kick would be great as well!

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Pickled Spiced Cherries
Servings
1jar
Servings
1jar
Ingredients
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1/4cup water
  • 1/4cup red wine vinegar
  • 1Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 2whole star anise
  • 1whole cinnamon stick
  • 1500 mL jar
  • fresh cherries - sweet or sour as desired - enough to fill the jar
Instructions
  1. Sterilise the jar as per brand instructions - heat in 200F oven for 10 minutes or boil in hot water for 10 minutes - have lid and seal cleaned and ready.
  2. Place the vinegar, water, sugar, and spices into a small, non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for at least f minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Remove from heat.
  3. Stem and clean the cherries - place in jar. Pour the liquid from the pan through a strainer into the jar to cover the cherries by 1/4 of an inch.
  4. Add 1 fresh star anise and 4-5 cloves to the jar and seal as per brand instructions. Leave sealed for 2 weeks before serving with your favourite charcuterie treats.
Pickled Spiced Cherries
(100%) 1 rating 5
  • Connie Kays-Gordon

    Yes, I will be making these.ReplyCancel

Ok, this isn’t a foodie post, but in the interest of launching the new blog and getting back into writing, I wanted to put something out there. My family and I just came back from a week long whirlwind tour of Ireland and while I spent most of the time just ‘being’ there, I did remember to pull out the camera a couple of times.  These are just a few snaps from what was a brilliant time, and the next time I go back it will definitely be to do a food tour.  Dublin is a hotbed of foodie goodness and, having the kids in tow, I could only glimpse most of it from the outside, but it’s not just the beer that’s better anymore – chic bistros, mega modern eateries, and hipster coffee houses galore abound. If you’re headed that way be sure to check out Lemon Jelly for a brilliant bunch, Mary’s Bar & Hardware, for some serious mixology, and The Market Bar for chilled out (and family friendly) tapas to die for. Oh – and the BEST ice-cream on the planet can be found at Murphy’s Ice Cream Shop – handmade in Dingle…our new favourite place! Oh Dublin, we’ll be back soon!

Good ol’ Dublin Town
(100%) 1 rating 5
  • Betsy Acken

    Awesome pictures!! Thanks for sharing. What a great trip. You certainly capture the “flavor” of it all.ReplyCancel