Welcome back everyone! Happy new year! I trust that Santa was good to you all while I was gone?
It was a busy December for me at work and with uni assignments so I didn’t get much done in the way of recipes. I also signed up for a gym challenge at the beginning of November so my meals became rather basic and purely for fuel.
Then I went for a procedure and got my internals checked out, given the all clear, and started to re-think my diet. The reason I did it was because I’d been having trouble with my tummy and digestive habits (a polite way to avoid talking about shit). My mother had found a benign tumour on her colon when she was a little younger than I am now. Her sister and mother both died from stomach cancer so I knew some sort of ‘-oscopy’ was on the cards, and sooner was far better than later. It was far less traumatic than my melodramatic mother made it out to be, and I urge you all to go and get a check up if you have a family history of stomach / colon cancer. Yes, it’s gross, but it’s important and really is minimal pain. I’ve suffered far worse on a hangover.
So to the clean-eating. Yes, yes, I know. You’ve heard it all before. I tried the veggie route, with varying success (more of that in another post to follow). I’ve moaned about costs, and quality of food often enough. And now to throw in extra pressure on my time, gym, uni, work adding up, I needed to do an overhaul on how I approached my meals and prepared them. I wanted them to be easy, high in nutrition, and convenient. I worked out also how much I was spending on Starbucks and office lunches out, thinking that it was ‘only $100’ each day. But actually that adds up to quite a lot over a week, which is more than enough to spend on high quality organic meat and veggies.
Yeh, I know. I’m dumb. It took me so long. And I’m lazy. Well, time to put my money where my mouth is!
This means prepping in advance (welcome to meal prep, Sharon!) for breakfasts and office lunches, which is where my downfall is. So I’ll be focusing my 2016 recipe posts on healthy and delicious recipes, that will provide extras for your meal prep and take the hassle out of your planning.
I know I’ve already posted one DIY muesli and granola recipe, but I’ve been tweaking around with measurements and bake time, and this one I’ve just made is KICK ASS and very more-ish. I’ve taken out the brown sugar of the original and swapped it for coconut syrup and coconut oil that I got from Coconut Matter, changed measurements, added more nut protein. Nuts are very expensive in HK, so I bought my nuts in bulk from Prize Mart and 769 Food stores to save some money. You can also buy dried fruit at these stores much cheaper too.
This granola is crispier and infinitely more delicious, which I put down to a longer bake time, and the coconut syrup which is treacle-like and brings a depth to the mix. It’s great for paleo / vegan friends and makes a large quantity, perhaps twice / almost 3 times as much as store-bought, for less money. Store it in airtight containers and glass jars, and you have a handy DIY gift! I keep a spare jar at the office for snacking on. Enjoy!
- 4 cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup of seeds, I like sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup of cornflakes (optional, but adds extra crunch)
- 1/2 cup of desiccated unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup of toasted coconut
- 1/2 cup of ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 cup of nuts of your choice, I used walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup of dried fruit pieces, i used figs and raisins
- 1/4 cup of coconut syrup
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of all spice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- Pre-heat your oven to 160c and line 2 large baking trays with tin foil.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together, except the fruit (unless you like crunching down on rock hard, carbonised fruit in your granola).
- Mix the wet ingredients together. Add them to the dry, and using a large spatula, turn the mix over thoroughly so that everything is coated well.
- Spread the mix out on the trays and bake for 45-60 minutes. Make sure you check and turn the granola gently, every 15 mins, until your granola is crispy and golden. Leave to cool.
- Add the dried fruit back into the mix when it is cool.
- Store in airtight, glass jars.
- Serve with greek yogurt or almond milk and a drizzle of honey! These jars of granola also make a beautiful gift for friends and family, and makes a large quantity.