I remember being a kid at my family’s holiday dinner table, passing along the dish of boiled, buttered potatoes without a second thought. My potato world was so small. I wasn’t crazy about the buttered spuds, but they weren’t especially terrible. They were just there. The world is full of incredible potato preparations, and there are far too many ways to enjoy the humble tuber without ever settling for something boring. A frozen shredded potato has very little in common with the knobby, dirty, delectable gems you can find at farmer’s markets. When you can find them, the heirloom varieties benefit from simple preparations that don’t mask the potatoes’ earthy goodness.
Granola often suffers a boring ‘health food’ rap, which I think is unfair. My granola recipe is more of a treat with healthy ingredients, which I am always happy to feed to my family. Once you discover your favorite blend, you’ll find yourself craving fresh, homemade granola, and not just for breakfast.
I’ve found my favorite combination of ingredients over the years, and the basic components are: grains (I always use oats), fruits, nuts, and seeds. You’ll need something sweet to bind everything together, and my favorite sweetener is maple syrup (with a touch of good honey added, if I have it on hand). I tend to make a triple batch; not only do we eat tons of it, but it makes a lovely little gift in a cello bag or glass jar. The recipe below is delicious with yoghurt for breakfast, and it makes a superb topping for custard or ice cream after dinner.
When I am trying to minimize my sugar intake, I will make muesli with the same ingredients. Mix your dry ingredients together in bulk. Serve with milk or fruit juice, allowing a few minutes for the liquid to soak into the oats. Top with fresh fruit for a super healthy breakfast or snack!
If you like the recipe below, here are a few other flavor combinations I’ve tried and liked:
oats, cashew, coconut, pumpkin seed, dried cherry
oats, poppy seeds, orange zest, almond, dried currants
oats, rolled dates, coconut, hazelnuts, flax, cinnamon
oats, dried apricot, pistachio, walnuts, cardamom
Kate's Homemade GranolaPrint Recipe
- 16oz/450g thick rolled oats
- 8oz/225g whole cashews
- 6oz/170g pumpkin seeds
- 4oz/113g unsweetened coconut chips or unsweetened coconut flakes
- 6oz/170g dried tart cherries
- 5oz/177ml maple syrup
- 1oz/29ml honey
- 1oz/29g butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
Preheat the oven to 325°F/162°C.
Combine the oats, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and coconut in a large mixing bowl.
Set aside the dried cherries.
Bring the maple syrup, honey, butter, and vanilla extract to a low boil.
Pour over the mixture of dry ingredients, mixing well.
Add the salt and mix a bit more.
Toast the granola on two large sheet pans, stirring every 5-7 minutes, until golden (about 15 minutes)
Add the dried cherries to the toasted granola.
Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
The ingredients are easy to switch around; try rolled spelt flakes instead of oats, sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds, etc. There are endless possibilities!
By Kate Davies
I’ve been baking lots of bread at home lately. My current favorite recipe calls for a natural starter (also known as sourdough, or leaven), which sounded daunting until I actually tried it. If you can stir flour and water together, you’ve got this. It takes about 5 minutes per day to get your starter up and running, and once it’s alive and bubbling it takes about 5 minutes each week to maintain. If you’re like me, you might feel a sense of ownership and attachment; after all, this is your unique bread starter, cultivated from your environment and brought to life with your care. The longer your maintain your starter, the more strength and flavor it will develop.
By Kate Davies
Pie evokes some strong feelings for many of us. Whether it conjures memories of summer fruit, christmas dinners, or childhood happiness, pie can pack a lot of emotional punch. When a gorgeous pie comes to the table, everyone is anxious for that first bite. How often have you taken that bite, only to be disappointed by soggy or tough crust? Too often, this is the weak link. A dull, chewy crust can be a frustrating distraction, especially when your recipe turned out perfectly last time! There are some variables that are typically to blame, and these are easy to minimize with a few good habits. Continue Reading…
We are adding a new series to the blog called, “This Is How We Do It” or “Kate’s Cooking School”. The second name is definitely more descriptive, but the first one makes us laugh, so that’s what we’ve gone with. 🙂 Having gone to culinary school, Kate is full of all kinds of great food-related information. From how to best chop an onion, to how to do that flippy thing with the pan when you’re sautéing something, to how to make baller chicken stock (featured here). Please let us know if there are any techniques or basic recipes that you’d like to learn more about and Kate might write it up for you!
Chicken Stock-by Kate Davies