You know, I never really understood the whole peanut butter and jelly thing. It just didn’t really seem like two things that would go together. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that being allergic to nuts meant that I had no idea what peanut butter was like. Or because being in England, I had a completely different idea about what jelly was. It took me a while to realise the whole thing was actually about jam! But since making my own free from butter, I’m obsessed with this strange combo!
I love granola. I think it’s fair to say that it’s one of my favourite things. With a splash of milk, on top of yogurt, or even eaten straight out of the jar (my preferred way!). As much as I enjoy eating it, my absolute favourite thing about it has to be making it. Experimenting with new recipes and flavours, creating something different every time.
With this recipe I’ve not only tried new flavours but have also made the whole thing in a completely new way. Traditionally granola is baked in the oven allowing it to go crispy and crunchy. But after my oven broke down (boo hoo!), I was left without granola for such a long time. That’s how this little experiment came about.
Creamy overnight oats made with protein packed chia seeds and full of warming winter chai spiced flavours. It makes the perfect breakfast on a busy, cold winters mornings, especially in the run up to Christmas. I honestly love overnight oats. They’re quick, easy and I love knowing that I’ve got something healthy and filling waiting for me when I get up. Helping to take a little pressure off when I’m in a rush.
I’ve experimented with all different flavours, from summer berry to banana and seed butter (think of a peanut butter flavour), and honestly love them all. But in the winter with cold, rainy days and dark mornings I find myself craving warming, cosy spices and become a little obsessed with ginger and cinnamon… True holiday flavours. So when I made my own chai mix, I knew that it would be a winner in my overnight oats. And I couldn’t have been more right!
I don’t think you can beat a big bowl of freshly cooked creamy, hot porridge on a dark winter morning. It warms you up, gets you ready for the cold day ahead and leaves you feeling all warm and cosy. I remember eating porridge every weekend at my grandparent’s house; thick, chunky and piled high with crunchy sugar. I would always pretend that I was Goldilocks stealing someone else’s bowl until I found the perfect one that was just right.
My love for porridge never wavered and it’s still my go to breakfast during autumn and winter. I love experimenting with new flavours and adapting it in every way that I can. But, although I enjoy trying new and different flavours (banana and date is my favourite at the moment) I can’t help thinking back to my childhood favourite. I think that sometimes you need to go back to basics and have it the old traditional way.
Since my oven broke I’ve been living every food lover’s worst nightmare. I’ve not been able to make some of my favourite treats, and for me, that definitely includes granola. I always make sure that I have a big batch made up, ready to keep me going when hunger calls. But, with no means to bake any, I had to go looking elsewhere and find some sort of alternative. That’s how I discovered my love of rawnola. A completely raw (i.e. no baked) granola made from only a few simple ingredients. I couldn’t believe just how tasty rawnola is, and how simple it is to make.
I’ve tried all different flavour combinations, but this one is definitely my favourite; lightly flavoured with desiccated coconut and a pinch of cinnamon. It really does taste like an oat cookie! With that in mind, it’s really important to mention that although it is a granola alternative, the texture couldn’t be more different. This doesn’t come out anything like a crunchy, traditional granola. Instead, the dates make it a lot softer and give it a more sticky texture; much more like a healthy cookie dough than a traditional granola.