Totally Nuts about these bars.

Ready for the easiest granola bars?

Even if you are not great in the kitchen, these granola bars cannot go wrong in the process and they taste great every single time. It’s basically 3 simple stages: creating a base, adding the filling and baking them in the oven. It requires a sticky base that comes from honey (or golden syrup) and olive oil with touch of flavour from your favourite spices (cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla) and a splash of various nuts/seeds and oats. All this is pressed into a baking tray and voilá, in 20-30 minutes you have heavenly crunchy granola bars! The entire process takes about 35 minutes to make, so have no fear if you have guests coming over for unexpected tea.

I’ve nibbled on these the last week with my morning espresso and made some as a gift for a dinner party I was attending. Garnish the bars with some fresh thyme for a touch of spring and store them in a simple glass maison jar. The bars are vegan and you can easily adjust them according to your diet, for example if you are gluten-free. You really don’t need to measure that strictly, the key is to make sure the mixture is a sticky consistency before it is pressed into the baking tray as this holds the form together. I used a “Tuscany flavoured” honey that has a hint of lavender in it. I love to keep the granola mixture in the oven until the surface is golden (on the verge of being a bit burnt) as I love the caramelized effect on the nuts and I think toasted flax seeds taste like popcorn! These easy bars are a total healthy treat packed with fibre, good fats and vitamins but taste sinfully divine!

Ingredients (serves about 8 large bars)

  • about 2-3 tablespoons runny honey (or you can use golden syrup or a mixture of both)
  • about 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • Generous pinch of maldon salt flakes
  • about 1 cup of each: flax seeds and oats
  • about 1/2 cup of each : chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
  • about 1/4 cup each: pecan, cashew, hazel nuts, almonds (can roughly break into a small pieces if you wish as this helps them stick together better)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together some olive oil, honey (or syrup), cinnamon, vanilla extract, cardamom, maldon salt.
  2. Add in flax seeds, chia, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, robust oats
  3. Mix in your favourite nuts (I used pecan, cashew, hazel nuts, almonds) The key is make sure the seeds/nuts are a sticky consistency and if at this point they are too dry, add a bit more honey.
  4. Pour the mixture into a silicon cake tin (parchment paper lined oven dish will do as well) and place into the oven for about 25 minutes at 170 celsius.
  5. Remove from oven and remove from the silicon tray once it has cooled and allow to rest on a cooling rack. Cut into a pieces after it has cooled and garnish with tiny twigs of thyme. The batch lasts for a week in a sealed container.

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Sunday Beet.

‘If your sunday comes with a pause button and your coffee needs a little date, then this easy beet cake is meant for you!’

Saturdays are for adventures and Sundays are designed for cuddling and recharging your batteries for the upcoming new week. It’s all about creating that cozy feeling and giving time for your soul to catch up with your body. Keep your pajamas on for a little bit longer and make yourself warm cups of tea or cappuccino all day and partake in the simple pleasures. Everyone should incorporate baking into your weekend schedule as it coats the house with a warm atmosphere leaving its sweet aroma drifting behind. This morning I was craving for a healthy treat with my second cappuccino and wanted to make something with beets as I was just pressing juice from them. With a banana bread in mind, I decided to bake something similar but with beets, chia, a bit of cinnamon and honey. I wanted something comforting and semi-sweet but nothing outrageously unhealthy and with that in mind, this little cake was born. A beetroot cake might sound unusual, but the purple delights add great moisture and colour if you’re looking for a healthier cake option. The chia seeds add a sublte texture to the golden middle and the cinammon, vanilla and honey add a comforting blend of spices and flavour. I whipped some matcha cream on top for a little extra goodness, making this quick recipe the perfect loaf cake to whip up to quests when they pop round for a cup of tea!

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Beetroot cake

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1 tablespoon runny honey
  6. 2 bananas
  7. 1/2 cup oat milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  11. 3 beetroot raw roughly chopped & peeled

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line your baking tray with baking paper. In a blender, add the bananas, oat milk, honey, eggs, roughly chopped beets, oil and vanilla extract and blend into a smooth paste. Transfer into a bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and pour the cake mixture into the cake tin. Place into the oven for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

To  make the sauce on top, whip together some double cream (about 1 cup), icing sugar (1/2 tablespoon) and matcha powder ( 1 teaspoon) for a velvety result. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.

 

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