Quick “Granola”

Weekend breakfasts are a big thing around here. However, trying to lose some weight – possibly gained through pancake eating on a recent trip to the US – means that breakfasts now need to involve a lot more fruit and a lot less bacon. Bah.

Almost made muffins this weekend, but even that seemed like a lot of effort. We had the ingredients for porridge, but no desire for it. A quick google for ‘quick granola‘, something else I’ve been craving since our recent trip, resulted in this. I also received some Kerrygold Honey Spread recently which I wanted to try.  As an Irish ex-pat, well, Kerrygold is butter in our house. Apparently this stuff is lower-fat than butter – yes, I know that’s all relative – but it has enough sweetness to lift the granola too. Of course, butter and honey, or agave, would work well too.  No, it’s possibly not the healthiest option in the world. But it meant I ate a lot more fruit than I would had alongside a bacon sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 40g butter or honey spread
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup jumbo oats
  • 1 apple
  • 3 tbsp organic low-fat yoghurt
  • fresh fruit to garnish
  • cinnamon, to taste

Method

  1. Peel and roughly chop the apple into a bowl, and spoon over the yoghurt to stop the apple from browning and pop it in the fridge.
  2. Melt the Kerrygold spread in a heavy frying pan, then add the oats, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds and coat well.
  3. Stir in the cranberries, then turn the mixture out on to a lined baking tray to cool for a few minutes.  Sprinkle with cinnamon (and perhaps some crunchy light brown sugar). If you’re doing the butter and honey route, you could pop the tray in a very low oven to let it crisp up even more.
  4. Assemble the ‘quick granola’ on top of the apple and yoghurt, and add whatever other fresh fruits you’ve got to hand.


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Weekend breakfast: buttermilk pancakes

Buttermilk is one of those things you get in every Irish supermarket but I usually find it difficult to track down here – that’s to say, my local supermarket doesn’t have it.  Odd, as  approximately a tenth of their floor space is given over to Home Baking, bless whoever their buyer is.  When I do find it, there are two recipes I want to make, and this is one of them: buttermilk pancakes.

I use Scott Jenson‘s recipe, though scaled back as below for two people – you’ll still be stuffed – and to use a single standard container of buttermilk.

The Wets
285ml buttermilk
1 egg
40g melted butter
1.5 Teaspoons Vanilla

The Drys
100g white flour
30g sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp  salt

I think it’s probably the vanilla that lifts these, but leaving the batter for five minutes to allow the bicarbonate to react also makes a difference.  You mix the wets, mix the drys, mix them together without overbeating, then cook a quarter cup at a time on a medium heat.  Get your pan ready and prepare to sacrifice the first pancake – my mother always says it’s ‘one for the pan’.


When crater-like bubbles start to appear, it’s time to add your toppings and flip, particularly for fruit like blueberries, sliced bananas or chopped strawberries. We experimented with chocolate chunks (squares of 80% Green & Blacks, because that was all that was lurking in the cupboard, butchered with a mezza luna) but it was a little too sickly even for me. Adding a small amount of flour-dusted milk chocolate chips shortly after you first pour the batter and it’s lightly set would probably work, allowing the chips to sink into the middle of the pancake and not just make a sticky mess when you turn it.

Plain ones work brilliantly with thin crispy rashers of smoked bacon, and maple syrup. A bottle of Prosecco, and nothing to do for the rest of the day is also recommended.  Best weekend breakfast ever.