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I am feeling sorry for myself at home with a horrid cold – my eyes are running, I’m coughing and sneezing and generally feeling miserable.  It’s the summer and I’m stuck at home with a cold.  And on top of that I’ve lost my taste!

Ultimately that means I’m not dreaming too much of what I want to eat for dinner, food is chosen based on it being strong tasting so that I might be able to savour at least some flavour.

So whilst I’m sniffling and swallowing whole garlic cloves in a bid to rid my body of this cold, I will share my recipe for homemade granola.  I never used to like the idea of granola, being a bit to put off by sawdust like muesli.  But this is different, it’s baked in the oven drizzled with honey until it’s golden and crispy, and it’s full of seeds and nuts.

Our favourite way to eat our homemade granola begins with a bowl of natural yoghurt, covered in a layer of fruit purée, topped with a generous amount of granola and drizzled with an extra naughty bit of honey.  It’s also good with fresh fruit added into this mix.

I must say that this recipe is inspired but adapted from a fantastic book by Jenni Muir called A Cook’s Guide to Grains: delicious recipes, culinary advice & nutritional facts.  It is fabulous on so many different levels, both for its facts and history to the lovely recipes, and the beautifully designed cover.

Homemade Granola

This makes 1 large jarful

200g roasted hazelnuts
4 mugs of rolled oats
4 mugs of barley flakes
2 mugs of rye flakes
3 handfuls of pumpkin seeds
3 handfuls of sunflower seeds
2 handfuls of linseed seeds
1 jar of runny honey

A couple of notes before starting:

  1. If you want to roast the hazelnuts yourself, simply spread the hazelnuts in a baking tray and cook for about 20 minutes in the oven at 180°C – don’t let them burn.  Once they’ve cooled a little, rub of the skins by placing them in a tea towel and rubbing your hands over them.
  2. You could use different nuts in place of hazelnuts, I’ve previously used pecans which was equally delicious.
  3. When choosing honey I would pick a darker coloured honey – they are usually stronger in flavour and best for this.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Bash the roasted hazelnuts up – I like to wrap the hazelnuts up in a tea towel, hold securely and bash with a rolling pin.  I do this until they are crushed into various sized pieces.

Take a large roasting tray and add all of the dry ingredients.  Mix them up with a wooden spoon.

Drizzle over the jar of honey and bung in the oven.  Cook for 5 minutes then remove and mix up.  Repeat this process (cook for 5 minutes then mix) for about 20-25 minutes or until the granola is crisp and granola.

Once it’s cooled you can pop it in a jar and use when needed.  Should last for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

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With my head full of thoughts of food for the week ahead, I thought I would start with a quick weekend round-up. 

Friday saw more of Mr Rigg’s incredibly good homemade pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella, Serrano ham and rocket.  An unbeatable favourite.

On Saturday we spent lunchtime collecting a HUGE tub of homegrown raspberries at the bottom of the garden.  I am amazed by how many there were – and there are still lots more to come that are ripening.

Mr Rigg and I made some of our delicious homemade granola – I will definitely post more on this as it’s a staple in our house and best enjoyed on a base of plain yoghurt and fruit purée (even the purée was homemade this time!).

Last night we ate an omelette with eggs from Abbey Leys filled with grated yellow courgette, baby plum tomatoes and shredded roast ham.

Packed lunches for this week include bitter lettuce and pea soup – an excellent (if slightly grassy tasting) way to use up the garden lettuce that is beginning to go to flower.   Toasted pitta bread with lashings of goat’s butter is needed in my opinion to help this soup go down…!

Tonight we made a Nigel Slater inspired grilled tomato pasta sauce with roasted tomatoes, garlic and a dash of cream.  He is a genius.

We must also use up the gorgeous local gooseberries we bought to make gooseberry fool.  They are blushed a claret red so should make a deep coloured fool.

And for the week ahead – maybe a chicken tagine with fennel and preserved lemon and homemade blackcurrant cordial.  A plan is needed and some shopping doing.

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I am a huge fan of River Cottage and really enjoyed watching the summer series – I especially loved their strawberry fayre.  I would love to organise events like that for my living.  Anyway, before I get off topic…Hugh made blackcurrant ice lollies and they looked so tasty I made a mental note to make them before the summer was out.

On a recent trip to the dreaded supermarket to stock up on a few basics, I discovered they were ‘chucking’ tons of fruit away (common sense would tell you none needed to be reduced) that had reached its sell by date.  There were a couple of punnets of organic peaches from Italy, the peaches soft and furry.  I came away with three punnets and an idea to make a peach versions of Hugh’s lollies.

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So here’s my recipe for Peach and Yoghurt Ice Lollies, but really I’m sure it would work with other combinations of fruit and yoghurt, or just pure fruit if you preferred.

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Peach and Yoghurt Ice Lollies

Makes 8 ice lollies with fruit purée leftover

About 10-12 peaches (less if you don’t want leftover purée)
Something to sweeten it with (honey, caster sugar, icing sugar, agave syrup)
Vanilla yoghurt

Start by skinning and pitting all your peaches.  Discard the skin and stones and place the peach flesh into a bowl.

Blitz the peaches up into a smooth purée and add a sweetener if needed.

Take your ice lolly moulds – now, as I see it there are two (main) options when deciding on how to fill your moulds. 

1)  I chose fill 1/3 of the mould with purée before topping it up with yoghurt.  Using a spoon I slightly swirled the peach mixture into the yoghurt which made it look quite pretty!  Of course, this is not necessary!  I then added a final thin layer of peach purée.  These were popped into the freezer.

2)  The other main option would be to mix the peach purée into the yoghurt before filling the moulds, so you have a peach flavoured yoghurt lolly. 

I suppose you could also do multiple layers – peach, yoghurt, peach, yoghurt and so on.  Have fun! 

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On tasting the lollies, I think next time I would try mixing the peach purée into the yoghurt before adding them to the moulds to create a more consistent flavour.  My lollies were lovely, and great if you fancy a bite of icy cold frozen peach, then a refreshing burst of frozen yoghurt.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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