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Breakfast of homemade soaked granola and raw milk

Recently I’ve been trying to wean us off cereals – by wean, I mean I’ve just stopped buying it, which for poor Mr Rigg has meant going cold turkey on cereals at breakfast.

If you’re interested why I’m keen to steer away from cereals it’s because I’ve come to realise that there isn’t much good in them, despite what they like to tell us on their TV adverts.

Soaked granola with seeds, nuts and dried fruit

We had this lovely recipe for granola that we used to make, which was delicious both with milk and yoghurt.  The only problem is that I’ve also developed an interest in how grains were traditionally prepared, and how they used to be soaked before drying.

This is because things like grains and nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors in them, which unless soaked first, prevent us from absorbing all the goodness in them like vitamins and minerals.

Honey nut and seed granola

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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.

So this is the first of my Food Finds posts, the one that inspired me to start them.  I will try and post one every Monday along with a fabulous recipe from the blog of choice.

On my search for strawberry jam recipes I came across a lovely blog called Nami-Nami.  It’s written by Estonian and there are some delightful recipes that I’ve just never come across or heard of before.  I love discovering food and dishes that are particular to a specific place or town or region or country.

It was a recipe posted here for Danish buttermilk soup that inspired me to start sharing my food finds. 

To me that picture just makes me want to eat it all up, without even really knowing what’s in it.  I might try it with some of my homemade granola.  If like me, you’d like to ‘eat it all up’ and want to know how to make it, the recipe is here.

Image: Nami-Nami

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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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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