One a penny, two a penny hot cross buns. Yep, it’s that time of the year again. Easter’s just around the corner and everyone’s excited about the long weekends and good food. The chocolate, the bunny shaped treats and of course the traditional hot cross buns. Filled with dried fruit, big juicy raisins, and all finished off with the perfect amount of spice. They’re warming, sweet and always taste best toasted with a light slather of butter.
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.
If you’ve seen my Instagram then you know that I’m a massive breakfast lover. I love good meals that help to kick start my morning and give me a little fuel for the busy day ahead. Oats, pancakes, chia pudding or even just a shake, as long as it’s filling and nutritious, it’s good for me. But my absolute favourite thing to have is a delicious thick, chunky apple berry compote bursting with juicy berries. Now I know that I’ve spoken a lot about this puree and have posted a load of pictures featuring it; but I suddenly realised that I’ve never actually shared a recipe. How I’ve never manged to share my favourite thing is completely beyond me!
This is probably the one recipe that I make the most. This puree is so quick, simple and easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s one of things that I’ve been making for so long and so often that there really is no recipe for it. It’s more of a handful of this and dash of that. But, I think that sometimes that’s what makes it the best! It couldn’t be easier; simply peel, core and chop your apple into chunks and place it in a saucepan with your fruit of choice, a little juice and a dash of sugar to help to reduce the tartness. If you don’t like the thought of using sugar, then of course you could use a bit of maple syrup instead. I love adding fresh juice to help to really intensify the flavour, but water can always be used as a substitute.
If you had to name your most used ingredient, what would it be? For me, it’s oats. I use them all the time and have them in some form or the another pretty much every day. I love using them in little treats like flapjacks and cookies, and in snacks to power me through the day, like my tropical treats or date bites. And I love using them to make a crunchy topping for my crumble for a delicious dessert.
But, in my eyes breakfast is where this ingredient really gets a chance to shine. Whether it’s a big bowl of homemade muesli or granola; which are both guaranteed to keep you full all morning, thanks to the oats slow release energy. Or porridge, who doesn’t love porridge?! I don’t think anything can beat a warm, steaming bowl of oats on a cold winter morning. Or my newest obsession…