Posts tagged ‘honey’

October 26, 2012

Coconut Granola

When I go for a run in the morning, music is a necessity. I try to pick songs that make me want to dance, which is my way of tricking myself into thinking that this repetitive straight forward motion is akin to dancing and it feels great!

I take playlists seriously. Like really seriously. I intentionally put a totally rad jam on at key time markers – like around 20 minutes in, when I know I’ll be deciding whether to make it a long or short run, I’ll bust out Bootylicious. (I’m going through a 90’s nostalgic phase right now.)

But a lot of the time, good music isn’t enough to keep me occupied for 50-60 minutes. (Ok, 45 minutes.) I need things to think about, figure out and bounce around in my brain.

Some days are inevitably more interesting than others. I’ll plan what I’m going to wear out to dinner that night, try to come up with an idea for a blog post, or suddenly realize that Aretha Franklin is totally my spirit animal…or maybe it’s Hugh Grant when he’s dancing in Love Actually. Can a movie scene of an Englishman dancing be a spirit animal? I mean, why not?

Bam. I just ran 4 miles.

Most of the time I just think about food. What I’m going to cook for dinner today or tomorrow, and what I want for breakfast.

There are few things better than having a good workout behind you and digging into a big bowl of fruit and yogurt with a sprinkling of crunchy, slightly sweet homemade granola. That’s treating yourself right.

I’ve been dreaming about an extra coconutty, honey-sweetened granola for a while now and the other day during a run, I decided that was the day to do it.

I didn’t put any dried fruit in this granola because we’re coming into mango season in Sydney, and that’s pretty much all I want with my oats these days.

But if you’d like to add some dried fruit to yours, mix it in after your granola is baked and cooling. I used both coconut flakes and shredded coconut for extra coconuttiness and flavor…which might be a little obsessive. Feel free to omit one or the other, based on what you have at home.

Make some granola this weekend, you deserve it!

COCONUT GRANOLA

adapted from Two Peas in Their Pod

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey (warmed so that it’s more liquid-like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 300 F/150 C. Line parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are well-coated.

Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread granola into an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Let granola cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

Makes about 4 cups of granola.

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August 23, 2012

Roasted Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Now that I’ve settled into my antipodean lifestyle (can we call it that?) in Sydney, I’m starting to accept the fact that I will always have some small degree of season envy. Like in February, while it was the height of summer, I would find myself yearning for sad winter peasant food like cabbage soup or potatoes on potatoes.

Which is ridiculous. And a little frustrating.

And while I’ve fully embraced our quick and mild winter by stewing, braising and slow cooking everything I could get my hands on, I’m left fiending for elitist heirloom tomatoes from the Union Square Greenmarket. I mean, did you see this Bon Appetit cover?!

But then again…maybe it’s just an adjustment thing. Now that I’ve had my first full year in the Southern Hemisphere, maybe I’ve set my cravings right?

All I know is – right now – I’m only thinking spring. There’s that change in the air, where a sunny day has actual warmth to it and I want to take all coffees, books and projects outside. I’m able to wear short sleeves on morning runs and open up the windows. Spring is here. And so are strawberries. And I. am. pumped.

Let’s get giddy with something frozen. Some good Greek yogurt, sweetened with honey and flecked with a little vanilla. (Totally inspired by this guy.)

Let’s roast some gorgeous Queensland strawberries with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a touch of maple and swirl them into our creamy yogurt. It’ll taste fresh, tangy and strawberry-y. Just like spring.

This post was also inspired by the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop‘s August theme: Berry Nice to Meet You! Head over to the Hungry Australian to check out the other berry recipes!

Knowing me though, I’ll be needing pumpkin-spiced EVERYTHING in a month. Whatevs.

Roasted Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Roasted Strawberries:
– 2 heaping cups of strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

Heat oven to 350 F/175 C.

Mix strawberries, balsamic, olive oil and maple syrup together in a bowl. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the strawberries.

Roast for 30-35 minutes until the strawberries are soft, give off a syrup and smell like candy. Allow to cool fully before adding them to the frozen yogurt mixture. This can be done the day ahead and cooled in the fridge overnight.

Vanilla Honey Yogurt:
– 500 mL (2 cups) good Greek yogurt
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Mix together yogurt, honey and vanilla. Place in the bowl of a frozen ice cream maker and churn for 30-40 minutes.

Mix in cooled roasted strawberries and serve.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, mix strawberries with the cold yogurt-honey mixture and place in the freezer in an airtight container. Check on it every hour or two, giving it a good stir with a fork to break up the icy parts.

Store in the freezer and allow to warm up about 10 or 15 minutes before scooping.

February 15, 2012

Simple Stewed Peaches

Listen, Australian peaches – we need to talk.

It’s summer. You’re supposed to be juicy and delicious. I’ve bought you from the local fruit shop, the farmer’s market and one of the big supermarkets and each time you’ve been all weird and mealy. Not to get all crass with you first thing in the morning, but WTF? For real.

What am I going to do with you? I can’t waste another piece of fruit.¬† I cannot deal with another un-peachy disappointment. I just can’t.

I’m this close to giving up for the season. Packing it in early. Watermelon is looking pretty good these days… but a little less travel-friendly.

Lemons to lemonade, you say?

Peaches to butter and honey and cinnamon? Yeah, that could work.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

Summer stewed peaches on the easy. One more shot. Let’s do it.

Stewed Peaches
(serves 2)
You can peel your peaches, if you’re fancy like that. I didn’t, because I’m lazy like that.

2 peaches, pit removed and sliced into wedges
1/2 tablespoon of good unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons of water

In a large pan melt the butter and honey over a medium heat.

Add cinnamon.

When the butter and honey begins to bubble, add peach slices and stir them around in the pan to coat each slice.

Add 1 tablespoon of water, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 10 minutes. Check the peaches about half-way through, stirring gently and adding another spoonful of water if the pan looks a little dry.

The end result should be soft peaches in a small amount of thick syrup.

Perfect with a scoop of ice cream for dessert or with yogurt or oatmeal to make breakfast feel like dessert.

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