Category Archives: Grains

Chocolate Granola

I love granola but very rarely buy it. For one it is so expensive and secondly I eat too much if it is in the house.  Making your own granola is quick, easy and allows you to control what goes into it and how much you make. The base ingredients for any granola are healthy – oats are full of protein and minerals and have a long list of benefits, seeds are a rich source of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids and nuts are rich in antioxidant vitamins.  So what’s the downside?  Well, all that lovely sweet crunchy yumminess comes from the added sugars and oil which are needed to bring it all together.  That’s where making your own is better as you can play around with different sweeteners –  honey, stevia, maple syrup are all better than refined sugar.  Try different oils too – a popular choice is coconut oil which I do like but it is very expensive.  Add in different nuts and seeds, dried fruit, even chocolate for a very special treat – the variations are endless.  If eaten in moderation then granola has more health benefits than downsides.  The key word here is moderation – I made this chocolate granola last weekend with the intention of taking photographs for my blog but it was polished off by all four of us snacking on it throughout the day.  This weekend’s batch has been photographed and stored away out of sight until tomorrow’s breakfast 🙂

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 portions

Chocolate Granola


  • 50g brown sugar
  • 4 tblsp water
  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 200g oats
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g brazil nuts, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Place the sugar, water, oil, honey and milk chocolate in a pan and heat gently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cocoa powder, seeds and nuts.
  4. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Spread the mixture on to the baking tray.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, and using a spatula, turn the granola every 10 minutes or so. Watch carefully as it does tend to brown quickly especially around the edges.
  7. Remove from the oven and press down firmly whilst still in the baking tray. Cool completely.
  8. Once cool, break into chunks and store in an air tight container.

Chocolate Granola 1
This month’s theme for We Should Cocoa is all about chocolate and coconut and is hosted by I’d Much Rather Bake Than …
We_Should_Cocoa_V3I’m also linking up for the first time to Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday link up
and to a Mummy Too’s Recipe of the week


Don’t you just hate it when a recipe doesn’t work? I understand that when it comes to baking you will always have slight variances due to different altitudes, slight differences in ovens, size of pan etc. but sometimes it is just so wrong that you wonder if the recipe was ever made by the author.

Easy Crunchies
Today was one of those days.  I had an hour or so to myself this afternoon and decided to make some crunchies for the biscuit tin.  I turned to one of my favourite cookery books – Home Cooking by Francois Ferreira.  What could go wrong with a simple recipe for crunchies?
Easy Crunchies 3
I first looked at the quantity for the dry ingredients and thought it looked far too much for the amount that I wanted to make – 1 kg of oats!!  I decided to halve the quantity and it was still a lot but everyone loves crunchies so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem to make a big batch.  As I had halved the dry ingredients I then halved the liquid ingredients.  It was completely wrong – I ended up using 4 times the amount in the recipe book.  How can it be so wrong in a published book – don’t they use proof readers?  Anyway – the end result was delicious .  Crunchy and chewy – perfect with a glass of milk.
Here is Francois Ferreira’s much adapted recipe:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 30 biscuits


  • 125gbutter
  • 200gsugar
  • 15 mlgolden syrup
  • 5 mlbicarbonate of soda
  • 80goats
  • 100gplain flour
  • 50gdesiccated coconut

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a pot until the butter has melted.
  3. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the hot ingredients.
  4. Place the remaining dry ingredients in a bowl and pour on the hot mixture.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Press into a baking tray (24cm x 34cm).
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden.
  8. Cut while hot and leave to cool in the tray.
Written by : Angela Darroch

Bircher Muesli

There is something very satisfying about having a bowl of oats porridge in the morning. Aside from tasting good it is so healthy for you – you only have to Google ‘benefits of oats’ to find pages and pages of reasons to eat oats. My only problem with a bowl of oats porridge is that it seems more suited to a cold, wintry morning. Now that summer is here we need something a bit lighter but just as healthy. A bowl of Bircher Muesli is the answer – just don’t forget to prepare it the night before.

Bircher Muesli 2

Bircher Muesli

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3 small bowls

Bircher Muesli

A delicious, healthy breakfast.


  • 200g oats
  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 75 ml plain yoghurt
  • 25 ml dried cranberries/raisins
  • 200ml milk
  • 125g seasonal fresh fruit
  • 25g pistachios/almonds
  • Honey or Agave Nectar (to taste)


  1. Place the oats in a bowl and pour the apple juice over to cover and moisten.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill overnight, in the fridge.
  3. Just before serving, core the apple and then coarsely grate.
  4. Mix the apple into the oats together with the cranberries
  5. Add the yoghurt and enough milk to get the consistency to like.
  6. Serve in individual bowls topped with seasonal fruit, nuts and drizzled with honey.

Bircher Muesli 1

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