I am writing to you today from West Didsbury, just south of Manchester City.
Yes, two weeks ago Kristian and I packed all our stuff from our little London flat into a little (well, kind of big, actually) van and headed up North to our new home in Greater Manchester.
After three hours of driving and Kristian putting up with my terrifically awful ‘Mancunian accent’ the whole way (think something along the lines of 'Ygritte', Jon Snow's love interest from Game of Thrones, but I actually didn’t sound like her at all) we made it to our new place of residence.
I tell you what, everything ran so smoothly that we were just waiting for something to go devastatingly wrong. But thankfully, the Universe was working in our favour and we had a terrific time setting up camp in our new abode.
Our new apartment is slightly bigger than our London flat, and so much cosier and homely (it has a chandelier for goodness sake!) It very quickly became ‘home’.
I baptised my new oven shortly after our move in day but have been unable to share my cooking adventures due to the lack of Internet that we had (it just got fixed today. HURRAH!) So I am back and armed with many a great recipe to post.
To give you a bit of a recap of our first couple of weeks: We had one whole week to explore our new area, as Kristian didn’t start work until the Monday after our move. Manchester actually turned the weather on for us, luring us into a false sense of reassurance thinking, “Well, the weather’s not too bad after all”, until it smacks us down with ice and snow and rain. But we will certainly take the sun while we can, without complaint.
Kristian headed off to work the following week, briefcase in hand, looking mighty professional. As I am still in search of a teaching job, I played ‘housewife’ (which I thoroughly enjoyed mind you, but don’t tell anyone I said that!) I spent the week cooking, cooking and cooking (and cleaning, but that’s not worth a mention- boring!)
I came up with this recipe for Kristian, who is surprisingly fussy when it comes to breakfast. He is not a big fan of cereal, but loves granola. We all know how much sugar store bought granola contains. This one is still as delicious as ever, but has no refined sugar. It’s a breeze to throw together and should last the week (or more). Now my engineer man can go off to work with a tummy full of goodness.
It’s really lovely and crunchy and is perfect paired with some natural yogurt, a drizzling of honey and some fresh fruit (blueberries are my fave!)
Makes approx. 450g
2 cups rolled oats
¾ cup hazelnuts
¾ cup whole almonds
¾ cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest from 1 orange
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 120˚C Fan-forced. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, sunflower seeds and orange zest.
Warm the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a small saucepan until everything is melted (this won't take long).
Pour the melted ingredients into the dry mixture and mix until the wet mixture evenly coats the oats, nuts and seeds.
Divide the granola onto the trays and spread it out evenly so you have a thin layer on each tray. It’s important not to pile too much granola on each tray or the bottom will remain wet.
Place in oven and cook for 50-60 minutes, until the granola is lovely and golden. You may want to check it half way through, giving it a light mix to it cooks evenly.
Allow the granola to cool completely on the trays before transferring to an airtight container.
The granola should keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.