Ah... something healthy finally. It's been a couple of months since I've been feeling like I've been eating quite badly, and a recent "your body fat percentage has increased by 5% in the last two years" in my health check report didn’t help in appeasing the evil spirits in my head, so I decided to stop my usual easy-access morning cereal (mainly chocolate based ones, I hate cereal so I have to make it somehow more appealing, although with the things you read on the packs, even the healthiest-looking ones have tons of sugar and salt in them) and start making my own again.
When I first arrived in London back in 2006, I remember I was making every couple of weeks my favourite muesli (I wrongly called it that, as I realise now it's baked, so the right name is granola!) but I hadn't made any in years, and it's something that I really used to love, it's healthy, has no sugar or salt, and kept me going for quite a while in the mornings.
Lately I've been feeling quite heavy and slow, it's not just food-related, but also the nasty weather (with a break of 2 weeks of sun) we've been having, which makes you want to curl up next to the radiator, and eat lots of crappy things, and the fact that my country, Greece, is getting slowly destroyed to the last bit. Depressing news always abounded about it, but now they're everywhere I look, in every newspaper cover when I go to the office kitchen to have my lunch, in every internet news site, and even in all my friends' facebook walls... So it's not that difficult to get down with all of that, and the potential doom and gloom of not having a summer at all for the next 3 months...
To give myself a boost, I decided to buy some ingredients and start making this granola again, at least this way I would feel a bit less guilty about eating rubbish for breakfast, and maybe it would help lift my spirits a bit as well. I always use Greek honey, firstly to try and support my country (we export so little...), and secondly because I love its more intense, almost treacly taste. In Greece you can get thyme honey, which is even better, if you manage to spot some in a deli in the UK, or if you travel to Greece, buy some and you'll remember me. Thyme honey aside, this granola is very simple, quick to make, and keeps very well in a sealed jar/box/tupperware – that is if you don't devour it in the first few days (and need to make more!)
Mixed nut, dried fruit, coconut and chocolate granola
Source: Inspired by a Rowse honey recipe
- 250g jumbo oats
- 100g mixed hazelnuts, almonds, cashews (or other nuts of your choice)
- 50g coconut chips
- 100g butter (melted)
- 100ml Greek thyme honey
- 50g mixed dried fruit & raisins
- Two handfuls of chocolate drops
Line a big deep tray with greaseproof paper (I use a turkey baking tin). Mix all the ingredients together, apart from the dried fruit and chocolate, and place in the tray.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 20-25 minutes until golden, stirring every 5-10 minutes to make sure nothing burns and the honey doesn't all get stuck in one place.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely. Add the mixed dried fruit and chocolate drops, mix again, and place in a jar or plastic container with a tight lid. This will keep for about a month, in room temperature.