Pizza con Verdure – The Easy Way

The title says it all. Although this recipe is a lot less fancy than it actually sounds in Italian. Basically, this is one of the pizzas I make after a long day of work when I’m way too tired and lazy to prepare anything.

It’s not often that I use something ready made. But for these pizza crusts I do not mind to make an exception. You can buy them in the supermarket, toss anything on that you like, pop it in the oven, and finito!pizza con verdureBesides the easiness, I love the fact that I can fully customize my pizza. Most of the time I put any veggies that I happened to have, or any meats that are left over. It’s a great way to use up all the “old” ingredients in your kitchen.

pizza con verdureWhat are your favourite pizza toppings?


Pizza con Verdure

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pizza crust with tomato sauce
  • 1 bell peper
  • 1 red onion
  • Handful sundried tomatoes
  • Handful capers
  • Grated cheese
  • Handful of rocket lettuce

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Pizza cutter

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C or 390F.
  2. Slice the bell pepper, onion, and sundried tomatoes.
  3. Scatter them over the pizza crust, along with the capers. Sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  5. Top it off with rocket lettuce and olive oil.

Note: if you can’t find any pizza crusts with tomato sauce, you can find the recipe to make the sauce right here

Film Friday – Big Night

There’s food. There’s film. Sometimes there’s both. When heaven and earth collide, films about food happen.

Therefore, I’m introducing a new bi-weekly topic on Basil and Oil; Film Friday. A post where I’ll talk about which film I love, and why, and where I’ll definitely urge you to watch it asap.

The first food-film is a special one. One that I’ve been watching since I was a very tiny human. One that has basically shaped my view on all food-films that I would see after. My brother should already know which one I’m talking about, as it is one of his favourites.

For those who don’t, the title is…

Big Night.

big night poster

Never heard of it? Don’t fret, that’s what I’m here for.

Almost as old as myself, this classic film tells the story of two Italian brothers in New Jersey hailing from Abruzzo, a region in Southern Italy. Set in the 1950’s the brothers are operating a restaurant called Paradise. The older brother, Primo, is a perfectionist chef who struggles with what Americans view as Italian food, and what it actually is. The younger brother, Secondo, is the restaurant manager and is charmed by the opportunities in America.

The struggles begin when, despite the delicious food made by Primo and the managerial efforts by Secondo, the restaurant is not making any profit. In the meantime, Secondo is cheating on his girlfriend with Gabriella, the wife of the competitor. The competitor’s restaurant Pascal’s is making success by being less focused on the pure Italian food, but rather on what the public is asking for: Americanized Italian food. big nightTo be able to keep Paradise, Secondo asks Pascal for a loan, which he refuses to give. However he does offer the brothers a job at his own restaurant. Secondo declines as it has always been the brothers’ dream to have their own restaurant and they will not give up so easily.

Pascal decides to persuade famous Italian-American singer Louis Prima to dine at Paradise, thus giving Primo and Secondo hope for a brighter future. They put all their savings into the preparation for this important dinner, to show the people of New Jersey what real Italian food tastes like. To prepare for their big night.

What is to happen on the big night shall remain a secret, until you’ve watched the film yourself. Don’t want to give away all the spoilers already!

Big Night Theatrical Trailer

Fun fact: in the film the brothers are called Primo and Secondo, which is Italian for first and second. In this case, that’s the birth order of the brothers. But it’s also part of the Italian meal structure, with primo being the first course and secondo  the second (or main) course.

Big Night to me is not only a great movie because of the story, but the actors are equally as brilliant. The leading roles are played by Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalboub, Ian Holm, Isabella Rossellini, and Minnie Driver. Also, young Marc Anthony plays a small supporting role as a kitchen help.

As the film takes place in the 50’s there is still a strong sense of the American Dream. The brothers migrated from post-World War II Italy to the “promised land” or Paradise as they call it. Coming from the poor Southern Italian regions, they were sure to expect something much greater in the United States.big-night-1For Primo, this dream did not come true, as he quite often wondered whether or not he really was better off far away from his motherland. On the other hand, Secondo found America to be all that he desired. He saw the positive side of things, never gave up, and kept on going until he was able to reached what he had dreamed off. That’s the strength of this film, the differences in opinions between the two brothers perfectly illustrate what most of the immigrants in those (and present) days have felt.

Besides the insightful moral aspect, Big Night is definitely a must-see because of the stunning dishes that are being made on-screen. The risotto, the scallops, the vegetables, the frittata. And of course, the showstopper: the timpáno. See the stress that Primo and Secondo feel when making this and how the people of New Jersey respond to such magnificent food:

I must warn you though, you will get extremely annoyed at the non-appreciative, non-adventurous, non-foodie persons in this film. Primo is the epitome of frustration in this film. Luckily, there’s always the sight of food to make you happy and hungry again.

Have you seen it already? What do you think of Big Night?

Nominated for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

What, what, what?! I got nominated for a blogger award?! What is happening? This is so amazing, never would I have thought that anyone deemed my blog worthy of a nomination. So, Oh The Pink Life, I’m forever grateful to you. I know I’ve already said it at least twice, but thank you again! It means a lot to me to be nominated for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! Also, don’t forget to check out her blog, because I love it and it’s filled with great posts!sisterhood of the world bloggers award basil and oilAnyways, there are rules to these kinds of things, so here they are,

NOMINATION RULES

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
  3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Nominate seven blogs.

The first two have been completed, so let’s crack on with the questions, now shall we?

  1. What inspires you to keep writing on your blog? Exploring new things that I would like to write about. Going into depth in topics that I am interested in. Challenging myself to think outside of the box. Having an outlet.
  2. Who’s your favorite author? Oh, that’s a rough question. Definitely J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter lover for life. And Oscar Wilde, the way he plays with words is simply breathtaking. I highly recommend reading The Happy Prince, it makes me cry everytime.the happy prince oscar wilde
  3. What’s your favorite thing in the world? The smell of freshly mowed grass. Cuddling with my cat. Sleeping. Listening to music. Going out with friends. Dinner with my family. Oops, that’s more than one thing…
  4. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I don’t think I’ve ever done anything crazy, at least not something I wish to remember. However, I did just spent 100 euros on a concert ticket which for me is kind of crazy. Worth it though.
  5. Besides blogging, what hobbies do you have? Reading, writing, dinner, listening to music, and going to concerts.
  6. Do you aspire to be as someone? Do you have any role model? I  have and will always say that Karen Walker from Will&Grace is my role model. Not the best one though, you know with all the drinking, and drugs and all that…  Nevertheless, I love that she doesn’t care what other people think of her, just the one closest to her. She does whatever she wants to do with her life, and I guess that’s what I want to do as well. karen walker gif
  7. What do you do when you are in a bad mood? Listen to Green Day to get the anger and frustration out of my system.
  8. Movie or book? I cannot choose between the two. They both have their charms.
  9. If you could live in any other time (like for example ’60s or so) when would it be? Why? In the 70’s so I have the chance to see all the epic bands of that time live. Also, because I would have lived at the same time as Elvis Presley.
  10. Any favorite clothing brand? Not really, I just buy whatever clothes I like. Although, if I had the money and opportunity to wear his clothes, it would definitely be Elie Saab. The dresses he makes are just heavenly.

Now for my questions, which are actually quite hard to come up with!

  1. What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Or if you haven’t been to any, which concert would you like to go to?
  2. What is your fondest memory?
  3. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
  4. Which place in the world would you love to visit? And why?
  5. Favourite song lyrics?
  6. If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would you meet?
  7. What is your favourite aspect of being a blogger?
  8. Which language would you like to be able to speak?
  9. Favourite book?
  10. What is your favourite recipe?

And then, my nominees for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award are  -insert drumroll-…

Victim to Charm

What to Have for Dinner Tonight

 A Journal Not a Diary

Penny’s Food Blog

Fashion, Food and Flirts

Books Baking and Blogging

The Girl in Glasses

I absolutely loved doing something like this. Thanks for the opportunity!

Club Sandwich with Homemade Mayonnaise

A Club Sandwich takes me back to when I was living in London.

As part of the curriculum for my study, International Hotel Management, I had to go on a traineeship abroad for 6 months. As a self-proclaimed anglophile, the choice for me was quite easy. It had to take place somewhere in the UK. I had only been in the UK twice before, in Edinburgh and Cambridge, but have always had a heartfelt desire to visit the UK’s capital city: London.london

So after lots of worrying, stress, and crying, I secured myself a trainee position in London!! Thus, in June 2013, I started working as a receptionist in a hotel. The hours were busy and long, which resulted in me sometimes not being able to go for dinner when it was served. However, my lovely manager prevented me from starving, and allowed me to order something from the roomservice menu.

Each and every time this happened, I ordered the Club Sandwich. This gave me so much energy, and comfort. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I got back. It was time to make my own version. To take me back to those busy but oh so enjoyable evenings, and the wonderful colleagues who made every shift better.buckingham palace

To upgrade this already scrumptious sandwich, I made my own mayonnaise, which is actually so  unbelievably simple, that I do not understand why I don’t prepare this all the time. All you need is egg yolks, peanut oil, water, mustard, and oil.homemade mayonnaiseBeat everything together except the oil, which you gradually add afterwards. Keep whisking until you get a firm, creamy sauce. And you’re done! You’ve made a 5-minute mayonnaise!

homemade mayonnaiseCan you guess which one is storebought and which one is homemade?

Keep in mind that there’s limited storage time, due to the raw eggs. Store them for about 2-4 days. If you don’t trust it anymore, throw it away.

One thing I love about a Club Sandwich – any sandwich for that matter – are the layers. How all these beautiful ingredients together make something even more divine.club sandwich

Especially when served with a nice cold beer.club sandwich

Do you have any recipes that remind you of another time and place? Share them with me! I love to hear about it!


Club Sandwich with Homemade Mayonnaise

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients 

  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • Dried oregano, salt & pepper
  • 8 strips of bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Handful of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 4 multigrain bread slices

For the mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp natural vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lukewarm water
  • 200 ml (6.7 oz) peanut or sunflower oil

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Baking tray
  • Frying pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Bread knife
  • Tooth picks

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or 392F. Place the chicken in the tray, oil the chicken and season it with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Bake in the oven for 30 min, or until cooked through.
  2. Make the mayonnaise: whisk the yolks. Add the vinegar, mustard, and water and whisk until combined. Gradually add the oil, and keep whisking. The mayonnaise should be stiff and creamy.
  3. Bake the bacon in the frying pan. Fry the eggs in the same pan, using the fat that came from the bacon.
  4. Slice the tomatoes. Toast the bread slices. Take the chicken out of the oven and leave to rest for about 5 minutes, before slicing the fillets.
  5. Place one bread slice on a cutting board. Put some mayonnaise on it. Cover with a layer of chicken, followed by bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce. Place the fried egg on top. Top it up with another bread slice spread with mayonnaise.
  6. Put 4 tooth picks in the sandwich so you can cut the sandwich in 4 even parts.

Sweet Sunday – Pink Macarons

Happy Sunday!

Being a lover of Pavlova, I figured I should try making those cute macarons. They seemed to emerge out of nowhere the last years, and could literally be seen everywhere. I thought they were alright, but did not really understand the hype surrounding it.

Until I made my own. Because how delicious are these little cookies really?? I must say though, if you are not in the possession of a sweet tooth, this might not be your thing. They are completely filled with sugar, and almost taste like cotton candy in your mouth.macaronsHonestly, making the perfect macarons is truly an art. There were lots of things going wrong when I tried them for the first time, and the next, and the next. Practice makes perfect. Still however, they aren’t nearly as flawless as they should be. But that kind of adds to the whole homemade vibe, doesn’t it?

The key to making the most majestic macarons is in the piping. Everyone can pipe small blobs on a baking sheet. But to ensure that the top of the cookie is flat is piping on a professional level.macarons

Vertical piping is the answer. This way there’s an even amount of batter. To get the top flat, tap the baking tray on the kitchen counter. If this does not work, use a toothpick or palette knife to smoothen the top.macarons

Fun thing about this recipe, is that you can colour the cookies any way you want to. Personally, I’m not a big fan of artificial food colouring, so I use natural substitutes.

  • Pink – Beet juice
  • Green – Matcha tea powder or wheatgrass powder
  • Brown – Cocoa powder  (you will taste this in the macarons)
  • Yellow – A pinch of turmeric powder
  • Orange – Carrot juicemacarons

Good luck making these macarons! I promise it will all be worth it in the end! :)


Pink Macarons

  • Servings: 20
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 100 grams (3 and 1/2 oz) icing sugar
  • 75 grams (2 and 1/2 oz) almond meal
  • 2 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 75 grams (2 and 1/2 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon beet juice

For the filling

  • 100 grams (3 and 1/2 oz) icing sugar
  • 50 grams (1 and 3/4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon beet juice

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Baking foil
  • Food processor with whisk attachment, or electric whisk
  • Piping bag with plain nozzle (3cm in diameter)
  • Mixing bowl

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C or 300F. Line the baking sheets with the foil. Use the nozzle to trace circles on the sheet with a pencil, leave a space of 3cm in between them. Turn the paper so the pencil lines are on the bottom.
  2. In the mixing bowl, stir the icing sugar and almond meal until combined.
  3. In the food processor, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Proceed to gradually add the caster sugar while whisking. Finally, add the beet juice and whisk. The mixture now should be stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down, without it falling out.
  4. Fold in the almond mixture, spoon by spoon. Use a silicone spatula to do this, and be gentle.
  5. Transfer the batter to the piping bag with the nozzle in it. Pipe the mixture in the middle of each circle, while holding the bag vertically.
  6. If there are peaks on the top, bang the baking sheets down, or use a toothpick or palette knife to flatten the tops.
  7. Bake the macarons in the oven for 20 minutes. Test one of the cookies by pressing on the surface, at which point the top should crack.
  8. Leave to rest in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
  9. In the meanwhile, whisk the softened butter, icing sugar, and beet juice together until smooth.
  10. Use the piping bag to put the buttercream on the bottom of the macaron, or a spoon. Top each macaron with another one.

The macarons, without any filling, can be stored for about 3 days in an airtight container.

 

Soul Food (That’s a What I Like)

Well, isn’t the quote below just one of the truest things you’ve ever read?

Everyone can follow a recipe, everyone can learn a dish step by step. But to make it special, you need to have feeling for the food, for the ingredients, and for the flavour. A lot of passion and love goes into cooking. There is a reason soul food exists. For me, it’s important to not forget why I love to be in the kitchen; to make others happy, forget everything around me, and simply focus on creating something delicious. Don’t lose your soul.

food quote

Tip! Listen to “Soul Food (That’s a What I Like)” by Lonnie Youngblood to feel the soul! The guitar in this song is played by none other than a young Jimi Hendrix, when he was still named Jimmy James back in 1963 in one of his first professional recording sessions.

To My Dream Reader

I am currently participating in a Blogging 101 course in WordPress (the site that hosts my blog), which helps me to learn about blogging and challenges me to dig deeper in my blog and my inspirations. This also allows me to discover some new topics that I might want to write about.

Today, I am supposed to write about my dream reader. Being the melancholic person that I am,  I decided to write a letter to young me.


Dear 16-year old me,

I am writing this letter to let you know that you’ll be fine. I know it doesn’t seem like that right now, but trust me, it definitely gets better.

Try not to worry too much, but rather go with the flow. Try not to compare yourself with others, because that’s not how life works. Try to enjoy being young. Try not to grow up too quickly. Take life as it comes.

Don’t worry about what others think of you, they are just as insecure as you are. Other people do not define who you are. You are in charge of that. The only opinion about yourself that truly matters is that of your own.  

Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to study or what your job should be. I still don’t know what I want to do and I’m almost 22. And that’s perfectly fine. No one knows until it actually happens.

Don’t worry about not being talented, or not having a passion, unlike the other kids. You’ll find your own, and it will fill you up with so much joy and happiness.

Don’t worry about not looking the same as the other kids in high school. Be different. Embrace your individualities. They are what makes you you.  

Don’t worry about being shy and introverted. You’ll grow out of it. You’ll get more secure every day, and suddenly you find yourself talking to complete strangers.

Don’t worry about not being able to leave your hometown. Because you will, and you will go to the other side of the world and see every single place on Earth that your heart desires.

Don’t swallow in sadness. There’s too much to be happy about.

Clichés are here for no other reason than the fact that they are true. Live your life day by day.

Carpe diem.

You’ll find your place. Be patient.

Love,

21-year old you.

P.S. Listen to this song to know you’re not alone: All Time Low – The Reckless and The Brave

And definitely this one: Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

The Basics of Risotto

I’m going to Rome in April! It will be officially six whole years since my trip to the most beautiful city in the world. Six years, people, I was 16 back then. Do you realize how old I am getting? However, now I’ll definitely fit in between the ancient buildings and rich history. So to prepare myself, I revisited my old pictures. Seriously, is there any place better than Rome? Vatican

A curious thing I’ve noted was that I did not make any photos of my food back then. I did find some with bottles of wine, but let’s not make those public, shall we? Thus, this trip will also be the first one to Italy where I am going to photograph every little thing that I eat and drink. Be prepared, cause it will be a lot and I will tell you all about it.

What I love about Italian cuisine – besides the taste-  is the story behind the recipes. Often named as “La Cucina Povera” or poor man’s kitchen, it offers many nutritious recipes. Of course, as in so many countries, each region has its own characteristics and traditions when it comes to food.

Let’s take a deeper look at one of the most famous dishes… The mighty risotto.Risotto with bacon and zucchini

As most of you know, the main ingredient of risotto is, naturally, rice. I’ve been trying to find the exact origin of the name but I cannot make anything out of the combination of the Italian word for rice, riso, and eight, otto. This does not make sense to me. Maybe they used to use eight different rice varieties? Maybe someone was named Otto and like rice so much he decided to make a dish combining the best of both worlds? I don’t know. If any of you have the answer, pleaaaase enlighten me, because I am losing sleep because of this.

During the Middle Ages, exact date or year unknown, but probably somewhere in the 13th or 14th century, Muslims brought rice to Sicily. To this day, I bet the whole of Europe is extremely thankful for that.

Fun fact! Although rice was first introduced in Sicily, risotto is actually eaten most in the Northern regions of Italy!arborio riceSo much for the history lesson. Time to learn about the varieties of risotto rice! You didn’t think you’d get to the recipe that easily, now did you?

There’s 4 varieties which are often used to prepare risotto. Use any other type of rice than these, and you will be unable to make risotto. Surely, it will taste good (for example a pilav, or paella) but do not call it risotto or you’ll have me and tons of Italians to answer to.

Here they are:

  1. Arborio: This is the most common variety. Can be found in every respectable grocery store. It’s a short-grain rice, with a starchy taste.
  2. Carnaroli: Second most common variety. As a medium-grain rice, it has a firm texture and is less likely to be overcooked.
  3. Maratelli: A rare variety, as it completely disappeared in the 80’s. Luckily there are now more rice growers that began cultivating this semi-fine rice again.
  4. Vialone nano: The only variety to have a Protected Geographical Indication status, meaning that this variety can only be cultivated and processed in 24 municipalities within the Veneto region. It typically cooks faster than other types.
arborio rice

Short-grain Arborio rice

Really, you can use whatever variety you’d like or can get your hands on. Personally, I have only ever used arborio rice, just because it’s easy to find. I would love to know if you have more experience in other varieties. Let me know which one’s your favourite!

To me, in the process of cooking risotto, it is extremely important to toast the rice before adding stock. I have seen some recipes that do not necessarily call for this step, but there is a reason the traditional dish calls for toasted rice – it makes the risotto a lot less creamy. By this I mean, less soup-like. It is almost as if toasting the grains results in the containment of the starch. Supposedly it should also give the risotto a nutty flavour, but to this day I have not tasted that more profoundly. Risotto with bacon and zucchiniToasting the rice makes the grains more translucent, which is not only pretty to watch, but is also the moment where you add the wine and the stock, to bring the rice to the boil. Important note: your stock should be simmering, so it will not lower the temperature of the rice when added, have a full glass of red wine, and relax... The secret in making risotto is patience. Wait until the stock has been absorbed, wait until the grains are cooked through, wait until the rice has incorporated all the cheese.Risotto with bacon and zucchini

It is not only one of the most comforting dishes to eat, but also incredibly soothing to make. I can get lost in watching the changes the rice goes through.Enjoy a glass of red wine, and relax. Put some beautiful music on, such as Zero Assoluto or Eros Ramazzotti to get in the Italian mood, or just listen to my Spotify playlist filled with Italian music…

 

When you finally reach the point where your risotto has been made to perfection, simply add some rocket lettuce for texture, or don’t, whatever you want.Risotto with bacon and zucchini

Risotto with bacon and zucchiniEat. Take it easy, take all the flavours in, and drift off to the beautiful landscapes in Italy. To the fresh ingredients available, to the smell of the melting cheese. Think off the gorgeous language (and men, am I right or am I right). Simply revel in the deliciousness.


Basic Risotto recipe

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients

  • 1,2 liter (1 and 3/4 pints) of stock
  • 10 grams (0.35) butter
  • 1 shallot
  • 300 grams (10.6 oz) risotto rice (Arborio, carnaroli, maratelli, or vialone nano)
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz)dry white wine
  • Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • Optional: rocket lettuce

Used kitchen appliances

  • Pan
  • Sauté pan
  • Wooden spoon

Preparation

  1. Heat the stock, and leave it to simmer (not boil!) on low heat.
  2. In the sauté pan, heat the butter. Finely chop the shallot and add to the pan. Glaze the shallot for about 5 minutes on low heat.
  3. Throw in the rice, and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the grains are translucent, this will take about 1 minute. Add the wine, and let it evaporate while stirring.
  4. Using a ladle, add some of the stock. Once the stock has been absorbed by the rice, add some more. Leave the risotto boiling like this for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Add the grated cheese. Optional: add some butter for a more creamy risotto.

Risotto with Bacon and Zucchini

  1. In a frying pan, bake the bacon for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the diced zucchini and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add to the risotto in step 4 of the basic recipe, when there’s only 5 minutes cooking time left for the risotto

Sweet Sunday – Homemade Granola with Nuts

First of all….

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

I hope you have all had great holidays filled with lots of joy and food! Let’s kick some ass in 2015!

Secondly, it’s Sweet Sunday! It has been somewhat quiet on my blog these last two weeks. I had some time off work and decided to truly relax during these days, which also included taking a small break from the blog to re-load. Also, to think about in which direction I would like Basil and Oil to go. After 6 months of blogging, I am more than happy with the comments I’ve received and the lovely people that follow me!

However, I feel like I might just be limiting myself a bit at the moment. There’s just so much that I want to talk about and discuss with others! Like music, and films, and books, and what not. So I am going to try to sort of evolve this food blog into something more. Of course, I am still going to have food be the main point of this blog, as it is the sole reason why I started blogging.

Anyways, so there’s that. On with the show!nut granolaIn lieu of (you have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to say that!) new challenges and goals in 2015, let’s have a healthy recipe for this Sweet Sunday! Don’t worry, it’s still sweet and it’s still delicious. Just with a healthy touch.

I remember some years ago when I used to eat bowls and bowls of yogurt with granola. Supermarket granola that is. Not-so-healthy granola that is. Although they seem to be good for you, if you check the ingredients, there’s always some stuff that you’d better not eat too much of.

So, I started making my own granola, which is sooooo much better. You can put any ingredient in there that you like. Spice it up with cinnamon or vanilla, throw in some different nuts, or some of those superfoods that everybody seems to love. Or you can substitute the honey with maple syrup, or the raisins with dried cranberries. Want it slightly less healthy? Toss in a handful of chocolate chips! Once again, the possibilities are endless.

granola with nuts healthyBesides it being healthy, I love that it is so incredibly easy to make. You literally mix everything together and put it in the oven for about half an hour. Although, I sometimes take to long staring at the honey. It just hypnotizes me, how it so beautifully and delicately coats the oats and nuts… Sorry, I’m drifting off. healthy granola with nutsLeave it to rest for about an hour, so you can add even more healthiness such as dried fruits or pumpkin seeds! This would also be the time to add chocolate chips.

healthy nut granolaThe granola can easily be stored and kept for about 2 weeks!

A healthy start to a healthy day of a great year! 


Homemade Granola with Nuts

Ingredients

  • 300 grams (2 cups) rolled oats
  • 250 ml (1 cup) honey
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
  • 90 grams (1/2 cup)  almonds
  • 90 grams (1/2 cup) pecans
  • 90 grams (1/2 cup) pumpkin seeds
  • 90 grams (1/2 cup) raisins

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Baking tray
  • Baking foil
  • Mixing bowl

Preperation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C or 350F. Line the baking tray with foil.
  2. Roughly chop the almonds and pecans. Add to the mixing bowl along with the oats, honey, and sunflower oil. Mix together.
  3. Spread over the baking tray, and even it out over the tray.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until crispy. Stirring about every 10 minutes.
  5. Take out of the oven, and let rest for about 1 hour.
  6. Add the pumpkin seeds and raisins.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.