Simple Nut & Seed Granola for Nutty Granola Addicts (Like Me...)

Who doesn't love a bowl of crunchy granola, creamy yogurt and fresh berries? I could eat one any time of day. Like actually. 
This granola is for the simple-hearted (or at least, when you're craving a classic granola!). There are no funky flavors, no trendy twists, no superfood surprises. Instead, this boasts pure, unadulterated nuttiness enhanced by cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and maple. Almond butter and coconut oil are mild, yet flavorful wet ingredients that allow for the *oomph* crunch factor that this granola has. 

This recipe is super customisable to your nut & seed preferences, but I wouldn't go so far as to add dried fruit or too many other flavorings, as although it may (okay, probably will) still be delicious, it will lose its charm as a simple, classic granola. The best part about the simplicity means you can get totally creative with what you pair this granola with. 
Here's how I like to build my 'nola bowls:
I love the thick creamy texture of yogurt and most often use greek yogurt (Fage is my go-to brand - full fat all the way!). Next best are Skyr or coconut yogurt. Any dairy or non-dairy milk works too but I would pour these on at the end rather than use them as the "base"!


I tend to pile on the granola next. And loooaaaads of it. Because go hard or go home, eh?


No 'nola bowl is complete without fruit. 90% of the time I use fresh fruit, but if I don't have any on hand or if absolutely nothing good is in season, I use homemade peach or berry compote. If fresh fruit, I use some combination of the following - berries, peaches/nectarines, apricots and/or bananas.

The "extras"

These really just take your bowl to the next level. Toppings I frequently use include chia seeds, cacao nibs, nut butter (holla to the nut buttah), shredded coconut, Brazil nuts and blanched & toasted almonds.
Feel free to get even more extravagant, but this is all I got for you.
And don't forget to think further than granola bowls - this can be used as an ice cream topping, a super quick deconstructed crumble topping and of course, for straight-up snacking!

It's super simple, super quick and insanely addictive. But granola addictions are allowed, right?
Go. Go now. Go make it.

2 cups of whole rolled oats
1 1/3 cups of mixed raw nuts, chopped coarsely (I used a mix of cashews, pecans, walnuts and pistachios)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
3 tbsp white almond butter
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
4-5 tbsp pure maple syrup 

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Low(er) and slow(er) is the way forward here! 

Place the oats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the buys. Very roughly! Big and chunky is key.

In a small saucepan, melt together the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Let cool.

Once the oats have slightly toasted, remove them from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then pour them into a large mixing bowl and stir in the nuts, seeds, spices and salt. Finally, mix in the wet ingredients until the oats and nuts are all coated. 

Pour the mixture back on the sheet lined with parchment, spread it apart and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice in between at regular intervals. Do keep a close eye past 15 minutes as this can go from golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds. If the mixture hasn't browned enough, let it stay in a bit longer than 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven. It may be soft at this point, but it will become crunchy as it cools! Let it cool on the baking sheet until completely cool then pour into an airtight container and store in a cool place (not fridge!!!) for up to a month. But it's never going to last that long anyways. Hehe.



A Superpower Breakfast or Lunch Plate (of Dreams!)

I am squeamishly ashamed to admit that this post is over five weeks pending... SORRY. But it is so SO worth it.

Five, okay maybe even two, years ago, if you asked me to eat sweet potato anything, I'd probably roll my eyes and make a face at you wondering if you were crazy. Me? Eat sweet potatoes? No way. I just couldn't stand them. Not sure whether I was cooking them "wrongly" or what the problem was, but just the thought made me queasy.
Fast forward to today. I. Literally. Cannot. Live. Without. Them. But actually. Ask anyone who knows me well/check out my Instagram and you'll definitely believe me. If you didn't already... And for those of you wondering, when, why and/or how did the change come about? To be completely honest, I have absolutely no idea.

I eat them any time of day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. I haven't yet got on the dessert train yet, but in all honesty, I'm really not sure why. I mean, sweet potato muffins, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato yogurt bowls, sweet potato ice cream... who wouldn't want these things?

My favorite way to prepare/eat them is to cut them up into chunks or wedges, roast until tender on the inside and ever-so-slightly crispy on the outside and serve with a "dip" of some sort. For me, this could be mashed avocado, tahini yogurt, a pesto-based dip, runny egg yolks, hummus and the like. Just something creamy, rich and delicious. Bonus points for two "dips". And that was my not-so-subtle segway into this plate.
It features just these things. Delicious paprika cumin spiced & roasted sweet potato chunks, two "dips" in the form of soft eggs and mashed avo, fresh greens and crunchy seeds. Trust me. I crave this just as much as I do chocolate. Or just about. And that is saying A LOT.

This plate is really packed with everything super - healthy fats from the eggs, avocado, seeds and coconut oil. Complex carbs from the sweet potato. Protein from the eggs and seeds. Micronutrients from it all. Salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy, indulgent, fresh. BLISSFUL, I tell ya.

This is my go-to savory(ish) breakfast or a simple, yet utterly wonderful lunch and sometimes, a super duper lazy dinner. Oh, wait. It can also be a very substantial snack on those days your body just needs a lot of fooooood. Well, mine feels like this almost everyday #noshame.

2 eggs (ideally organic and free range, but this doesn't always happen - even for me!)
1 medium or 1 ½ small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into chunks (ideally organic, but if not, peel before chopping)
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coconut or olive oil
a handful of mixed greens, organic if possible
1 small or ½ of a large avocado
juice of ½ a lemon
some pumpkin and sunflower seeds, for sprinkling
sea salt, to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)

Turn your oven on and heat to 180°C. 

Toss the sweet potato chunks in the coconut/olive oil, paprika and ground cumin. Place them on a roasting tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes or until very tender and fluffy on the inside, but just slightly crispy on the outside. Once done, remove from oven and set aside. 

Meanwhile, prep your eggs. Heat a pot of water and once it has come to a boil, gently place the two eggs and boil for 6 minutes for a soft-boil or 8 minutes for a medium-boil. I generally just do somewhere between the two. Once the time is up, put the eggs in a bowl of ice or very cold water to "shock" the eggs and prevent them from cooking further. Leave them there for 3-4 minutes, then peel. 

The last step before plating is to prep the avocado mash. Surprise surprise - mash the avocado with the lemon juice and some salt, if you wish. 

Now time to get plating. Throwing it all in a wide bowl will yield an almost just as good result! I mean, it is proven that pretty food tastes better... or is that just me? :P

Put everything (eggs, sweet potato chunks, avo mash, greens) in your dish of choice, sprinkle with seeds, salt and red pepper flakes. Then snap a few quick pics of your masterpiece, share on social media to make people jealous and finally, relish, or devour, the goodness.

I know you will, but, as always, ENJOY!