So it has only been three days since I officially started my study leave and it already feels like it has been forever since I’ve done anything but study.
Yeap, it’s that time of the year again.
That time of the year where I sit down with my books, leaf through a couple of chapters, wonder why on earth I waited so long to start studying, grit my teeth and leaf through a couple more chapters and wonder why on earth I signed up for the damned exam, completely uncoerced.
Apparently, I do like putting myself through pain a lot more than I thought.
Now, pain I might enjoy but the one thing I certainly don’t enjoy is having to get up way too early in the morning and rummage through the fridge, hoping there would be something in there befitting for breakfast.
And how more perfect could chocolate granola be to get me out of bed each morning, ready to hit the books?
I admittedly went a little crazy with this one, swapping out seeds and fooling around with different types of sugar- and then, just for the fun of it, dried a handful of fresh strawberries I had lying around and threw those in.
With a chocolate boost from cocoa powder, crunch from the nuts, slight tartness from the dried strawberries and a drizzle of honey all against the smooth, creaminess of the yogurt, I was expecting a pretty good granola but damned was it really, really good- so good in fact my mum sat down with a bowl of it with some milk and went back for a second bowl in less than ten minutes flat.
This will definitely have me up and ready to hit the books as long as the jar doesn’t empty out but sitting down and actually studying? That’s still clearly a work in progress.
Chocolate Granola with Dried Strawberries [loosely adapted from Nigella Lawson's Feast]Note: So I completely winged both the granola and dried strawberries here. These are just subtly sweet with a hint of chocolate so go with it if you aren’t a fan of cloying sweet breakfast but feel free to up the sugar if you like your breakfast sweet or aren’t planning on drizzling extra honey before eating and stir in some shaved chocolate for a really decadent breakfast. And with the strawberries, I’m pretty sure a lot more work (and chemicals) go into the dried stuff we get at the supermarket but it worked in a pinch for me. And as long as that jar of granola remains full, I’m quite happy to keep going along with it.
200g rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10g cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
50g light brown sugar
60g almonds, halved
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
Small handful of strawberries
- To make granola Preheat the oven at 175C. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir the wet ingredients in, mixing well. Transfer the granola to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the granola’s golden and toasted.
- To make dried strawberries Preheat the oven at 120C. Slice the strawberries thinly lengthwise. Place the strawberry slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle caster sugar sparingly over the slices. Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes or until the strawberry slices are dry and crisp to the touch.
- Mix the dried strawberry slices into the granola, cool and store in an airtight container. Make about a litre of granola