Double-G Granola

There comes a time when a person stops feeling comfortable eating a tray of flapjack every week (or does there?).

And now that time has come for me, this is what I’ve started making instead: similarly tasty, but lower fat and altogether more wholesome, homemade granola.

Ingredients :

    2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
    2 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tbsp raw honey
    1 tbsp cocoa
    300g oats
    100g chopped almonds
    100g chopped dried apricots
    50g sultanas
    50g chopped hazelnuts (optional, but cocoa + toasted hazelnuts = Nutella vibes, so why wouldn’t you?)
    50g pumpkin seeds
    50g golden linseed

Note: if pushed for time, you can substitute all the dry ingredients for 500g your favourite muesli, plus a handful of any extra nuts or dried fruit you fancy.

Note on ingredients: oats, almonds, apricots and golden linseed have a reputation for stimulating milk supply, however there is no convincing scientific evidence for this. But the tasty, slow-release energy they provide does not go amiss when one is up all hours of the day and night sustaining two small humans!

One of my small humans. Obviously use whatever cocoa you like, but I’m partial to this one. 😉

Method

In a big bowl or pan, mix the oats, oil, syrup, honey and cocoa until all the oats are coated. Then stir in everything else. This should smell really good.

Scoop loosely onto 2 lined baking trays; don’t press down, as you want to toast all the individual pieces evenly.

Bake for 10 mins at 150’C. By now it should smell insanely good!

Allow to cool, then stir to break up any large clumps.

Somehow get it into a mason jar (other jars are available). I do this by using the baking parchment as a funnel and pouring it into the jar, which is quick but some inevitably spills…

Consume by the bowlful with milk of your choice, with yoghurt & fruit, scattered over ice cream, or – my fave – dry, by the desert spoonful, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.

Double-F Flapjack

In the early weeks of learning to feed my twins, I was breastfeeding them both every 2 hours, including overnight, as well as giving top-up bottles, and expressing, every 3-4 hours.

Each night felt like a surreal marathon running parallel with the time when I should have been being rejuvenated. By 6am each day I would already be a wreck. These flapjacks helped. A lot.

Ingredients:

  • 450g oats
  • 300g margarine (or butter if richer & greasier is appealing)
  • 80g demarera sugar
  • 120g golden syrup
  • 60g treacle
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g golden linseed (“flaxseed”)

A note on ingredients: oats, almonds and linseed are all supposedly good for stimulating milk supply. Anecdotally I would agree but there is no published evidence for their efficacy. However they were definitely good for sustaining my blood sugar and sanity during otherwise dark and hangry times.

If you know someone who is in the early stages of learning to cope with a new baby, these would make an EXCELLENT gift.

Method:

  • Melt the margarine, sugar & syrups in a big pan.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the nuts, raisins & seeds.
  • Stir in the oats (slowly but surely the mixture will come together)

Get a standard-sized baking tray. Line it with baking paper. Scoop the mixture into the tray and press down.

Bake at 180’C for 20 minutes; longer if you want it crispier, however the longer you cook it the more the sultanas will be scorched.

The kitchen should smell great by the time it’s cooked.

I scour it into columns and rows with a knife whilst it’s still hot and soft, then leave in the tin for at least half an hour (realistically: until I next get 2 minutes off from baby-wrangling).

Once cool, I lift out the whole slab on its baking paper and break it into squares. Bits that fall off get eaten first. The rest goes in a tin that goes on the kitchen counter by the kettle… or on the bedside table.