Autumn? That’s so last season…!
When I woke up last Thursday, it felt as though I’d slept three months rather than a few hours – from mild-ish autumn to freezing winter overnight. My mum’s dahlias (I think!) went from this on Wednesday (although not in the vase 🙂 )
To this on Thursday…
That was a serious frost! And it’s been freezing ever since… I spent a lot of time outside this weekend. As well as spending TWO evenings up the yard waiting for the vet (one horse jumped through instead of over a fence, one had colic; goodbye evening plans, hello huge vets’ bills! But luckily Dave and my friend’s horse are both fine now) I spent Sunday morning with these dudes, among others…
My job may not have many perks but this was definitely one of them! So I can write a feature for the paper, Iwas invited to a tour of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation site. It’s only about two miles from my house but not open to the public so I’d never been before… and it’s amazing.
What a lucky shot – check out that yawn! The foundation does amazing breeding and conservation work, as well as raising funds and awareness. Plus, as it’s not open to the public, we could get so close to some of the animals! A really amazing day. (I think he was my favourite though, below, look at those colours)
But I wasn’t sorry to get back… although it was the most beautiful day, it was FREEZING! So when I got home, partly to warm up, I did some cooking.
I was struck by an urge to make granola. I was going to look for recipes but then realised it’s only oats and other stuff, mixed together and cooked! SO I took some oats – and some other stuff – mixed, and cooked. With surprisingly tasty results…
I preheated the oven to 150C and mixed:
1 tbsp apple puree
1 tsp almond butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
I mixed it together, really well to make sure the oats were well coated. (I used my hands, not only to blend it better but, let’s face it, it ain’t a hardship to lick this off your fingers!)
Then, spread it out well on a lined baking sheet/roasting pan and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. After that, I shook it round a bit and broke it up with my fingers. I crumbled it up really fine, to get all the lumps out but if you like “clumpier” granola, leave some bigger bits.
Then, put it back in for another five or so minutes. It’ll still feel soft but will crisp up as it cools…
The best thing about this is, it’s so simple and with so many variations possible. I’ve already made it again, with cashew instead of almond butter (I’m thinking coconut butter next time *drool*) but also, you could toast and mix in any amount of seeds and nuts, then there’s the dried fruit that could be added afterwards…. yum.
I had mine today on top of a bowl of banana porridge. Ok, oaty granola probably doesn’t usually go on oat porridge but I’m not going to tell the breakfast police… are you?!