Happy January to you, Baking Martha readers! Starting the new year made me think about how i can improve the start of each day, so i've come up with a few easy, homemade breakfast options. It's cheaper to make your own than to buy at the shops, and you control exactly what goes in.
I only really discovered granola last year, and instantly loved it as every mouthful is a little bit different from the last. The best thing about making your own is that you take control over what goes in. Like it sweeter? Add more honey. Prefer nuts to fruit? Swap out some dried fruit for nuts. This is the recipe I like best; just the right about of nuttiness matched with toasty sesame with just enough honey, dates and apricots for sweetness. Eat by the bowlful with yogurt and fresh fruit or simply with cold milk.
For those mornings where time just runs away, try my mango and passionfruit bars – perfect for a breakfast on the go! They are zingy with a fresh yoghurt topping, and will leave you feeling full with all the energy you need. They don't even need to be baked!
Martha Collison's honey & sesame granola
125g clear honey
2 tbsp toasted sesame or sunflower oil
½-1 tsp flaked sea salt, to taste
350g jumbo oats
50g mixed seeds
4 tbsp sesame seeds
100g macadamia nuts, halved
50g flaked almonds,
1 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Egg white
75g dried apricots, chopped
75g chopped dried pitted dates
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2, and line a large baking tray with parchment. Warm the honey, oil and salt in a small pan. Combine the oats, seeds and nuts in a mixing bowl. Pour over the honey mix and stir until coated.
2. In a small bowl, lightly whip the egg white until frothy, then stir through the granola mix. Tip onto the baking tray and spread evenly.
3. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn the tray and give it a quick stir before baking for 10-15 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the granola to cool completely so it’s crisp, then stir in the dried fruit.The granola will keep for up to 1 month stored in an airtight jar.
Martha Collison's mango & passion fruit energy bars
100g flaked almonds
100g desiccated coconut
60g essential Waitrose Rice Pops
50g dried mango, chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
300g clear honey
1 large passion fruit
75g white chocolate
2 tsp natural yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Grease and line a 34cm x 22cm brownie tin with baking parchment. Arrange the flaked almonds and coconut on the lined tray and toast in the oven for 7-8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant – stirring halfway through to get an even colouring. Once toasted, tip into a large mixing bowl. Add the rice pops, oats and chopped mango to the toasted ingredients and stir to combine.
2. Meanwhile, place the sugar, honey and passion fruit pulp into a medium sized saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for 7-10 minutes. It will look slightly thicker in consistency.
3. Pour the hot mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well coated. Tip the mixture into the lined tin and use a spatula to press it down firmly into an even layer. Place into the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
4. When the bars have set, make the drizzle. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water, then stir in the yogurt. Spoon into a piping bag and drizzle over the top of the set bars. Leave to cool completely, then slice into 24 pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.