22 June 2015

apricot pecan granola

Quick recipe for today! I haven't been able to write anything recently, either due to lack of time or inspiration. My summer chemistry course has ended and my only commitment at the moment is work so hopefully I will be able to create more content. But for now I want to share a granola recipe I created a few weeks back!

During the school year when I had class at 8 or 9am I would usually leave my house by 7:30 to get there on time. At that time in the morning, I'm not that hungry but I know that once I get to class my stomach will start rumbling like a thundercloud. Granola is the best (and yummiest) solution possible.  Put in a jar with plain yogurt and some fruit it's the best breakfast that actually keeps me full until the afternoon.

My granola recipes change each time I make a batch but I always stick to whole rolled oats, a syrup, and raisins as a base. Usually I throw whatever I have on hand into a bowl but recently I have been wanting to create a specific favour combination. Thanks to this post by Pale Lily, I found out how to make it form little bunches! The addition of sugar and letting the granola cool completely allows it to form those wonderful little clusters. The inspiration here were the dried apricots, imported from Afghanistan, that I bought at a Persian market! They're not sweetened so they retain their pure, delicious, apricot-y flavour. Mixed with pecans and honey, this made for a seriously delicious breakfast option. Or lunch, or dinner... I'm not picky. 

  • 2 cups organic whole rolled oats
  • raw pecans
  • dried unsweetened apricots
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola) 
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 300°C and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper. Before mixing, lightly chop the pecans and slice the apricots into strips. In a large bowl combine oats, pecans, apricots, cinnamon and sugar. 
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil and honey until lightly combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix so that the dry ingredients are coated in sugar/oil. 
  3. Spread the granola mixture on the baking tray around 1cm thick. Press granola down flat. Bake at 300° for 15 minutes or until oats start to brown. Remove the tray and turn the granola so the underside can be properly cooked as well. Press down in the tray again, turn the oven down to 250°, and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  4. After 10 minutes, turn off the oven and leave granola inside. This will give it a chance to dry and crisp together. Once fully cooled, break granola into small chunks and store in a glass or plastic container. Best served with yogurt and bananas. 

2 June 2015

garden update | 02.06.2015

As I have mentioned before, I wouldn't consider myself a gardening enthusiast. Yet something has definitely shifted because I have found myself spending mornings before work or sunny afternoons when I return from class tending to my little patch of veggies. I even catch myself just looking out the window to see if they're still alive. Or that my cat isn't pooping in the beds. 

One of my main inspirations is Tara Weaver's blog Tea and Cookies. She is a writer from Seattle and her blog focuses on food, travel, gardening, and the stories that accompany each experience. In this post she writes about the garlic harvest and how the whole process can be a simple metaphor for life; "in these darker days of winter, that is what I am thinking about: what should I be planting now? In my life, in my relationships, in my career: what do I want to grow?"

Some pretty prominent questions as I enter my twenties. 

This is the first time growing a mesclun mix so there's a pretty steep learning curve. Some of my poor lettuces are bolting, going to seed too early. They can't tolerate high temperatures which unfortunately is exactly what May is like right now - very hot. Only 3mm of rain from an average of 60mm in the past. Other than the bolting problem, which I am trying to fix by snipping the long upward shoots at the base of the next major leaves, they are doing wonderfully. I recently added more soil provide support and some more nutrition. My main goal with these lettuces, the lacinato kale especially, is to grow those full, dark green plants complete with thick, bubbled, crunchy leaves that you can't help but imagine cooking frittatas with. Maybe the frittata dream is just mine? 

Next on the list of things to do is to cut the smaller outside leaves on most of the plants. This will support new growth and (hopefully) lead to the full plants that I want. Then thin the radishes out to give them more growing space because they're really taking off!