Got a load of people home for the holidays? Are they getting underfoot? 'Tis the season to make something fun for breakfast but sometimes you don't want to make something elaborate every day. That's where this Cherry Ripe Granola comes in. Made with organic rolled oats, rice malt syrup, brown sugar, dried cherries, coconut and dark chocolate, this mimics the flavour of a Cherry Ripe chocolate bar perfectly!
You know one of the reasons I love granola apart from the taste is that it keeps you really full for ages but doesn't taste like cardboard which I find many cereals do. This toasted granola without any added fat helps keep me full for a long time. This version is slightly less healthy than would otherwise be but I figure being Christmas you may as well have a bit of fun. Overseas readers, a Cherry Ripe is an Australian chocolate bar made with dark chocolate on the outside and cherries and coconut on the inside. So to recreate the flavour I added some dried sour cherries, some dark chocolate and two types of coconut. And it is perfect to give as a gift too!
Last weekend I was invited to my niece's ballet school end of year recital. This is completely new territory for me. I have never been to a school concert before and my cousin Roger and his partner Catherine invited Mr NQN and me along as well as other family members. It was a three hour show so I made sure that I ate a big bowl of this granola before leaving because once I get hungry, it quickly progresses to hangry and no kids should witness that. It turns out that Natalie was a star, and that's not just me being biased, she really did dance beautifully to the polka.
There was another dance number just before Natalie came on. One where there was a mixed age group of kids dancing to a jazzy bird song. And while I'm sure every person in the audience was for the most part looking out for their own child or relative, there was one girl that stole the number. She was the littlest, still round cheeked with the last traces of toddler fat.
But she was magic. She tried the hardest and danced as fast as her little legs could carry her and shook her bottom like she was having the time of her life because I think she was. At times she was having such a blissful time that she wasn't doing the same as the rest of the group but she somehow became the star of the number. She had joy in abundance and slowly but surely people started to sit up and watch her laughing and sighing good naturedly when she would step out of tune. The sullen, fidgety pre-teen behind me even stopped kicking my chair and sat up straight.
And with ebullient performances like that and the Cherry Ripe granola, there was not a trace of hangry all day!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have to go to many school concerts? How often do you have to snack or eat before you get hangry? Do you have a snack or meal that keeps you full for hours?
Cherry Ripe Granola
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 350g/12.36ozs. rolled oats
- 50g/1.7ozs. coconut flakes
- 50g/1.7ozs. shredded coconut
- 100g/3.5ozs. brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons rice malt syrup
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 150g/5ozs. dried cherries
- 120g/4.24ozs. dark chocolate chips
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 170C/340F and line two trays with parchment. In a large bowl, mix the oats, coconut flakes, shredded coconut, brown sugar and salt with your hands breaking up the sugar and ensuring that it is well mixed. Add the rice malt syrup and apple juice mix with a spatula to combine.
Step 2 - Divide among the two trays and ensure that it is well spread out. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and mix the granola around. I found that the granola towards the back of the oven was a bit darker so I moved the granola from the centre of the tray to the outer and turned it around when I slid it back into the oven. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until crunchy and golden. Cool completely.
Step 3 - Toss the dried cherries and chocolate chips through and store in an airtight container.