It’s the first morning of my Christmas holidays.
Despite a week of over-indulgence and late nights, I’m up early, sat cross-legged on the sofa eating my breakfast to the light of the Christmas tree.
Soon I will have to leave my comfy spot and head out into the rain. I still need to pick up a couple of final presents and we have nearly run out of wrapping paper. Tonight we will have dinner with my parents to mark the start of the festive season and tomorrow we will head to my boyfriend’s family for a few days.
When I was younger, we sometimes used to go away for Christmas. While the idea of some sunshine and a rum punch on the beach is quite appealing, really, I love being at home for Christmas. I love spending time with my family and friends, having quiet days with my boyfriend without the spectre of Monday morning hanging over us, doing all those jobs that there never seems to be time for during the working week.
I made a batch of Christmas granola to fuel me through the celebrations, full of warming spices and toasted nuts. For a touch of luxury, a handful of white chocolate chips are stirred in as the mixture is cooling. I don’t really like dried fruit in my granola but feel free to add some dried cranberries or apricots or whatever takes your fancy. The beauty of making granola at home is that you can add or leave out things you like or don’t like.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you all a very merry holiday season full of good food, jolly times and lots and lots of happiness.
Yield: Makes enough for a 1.8l container
- 300g (12 oz, 4 cups) rolled oats
- 50g (2 oz, 1/2 cup) flaked almonds
- 100g (4 oz, roughly 3/4 cup) brazil nuts
- 50g (2 oz, roughly 1/3 cup) hazelnuts
- 50g (2 oz, just under 1/2 cup) sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons spice mik (I used koekkruiden)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped crystallised ginger
- 80ml (1/3 cup) honey
- 60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A few handfuls of white chocolate chips or dried fruit (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F and line a baking sheet with non-stick paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, sugar, salt, spices and crystallised ginger.
Add the olive oil, honey and vanilla and mix together until all the dry ingredients are coated.
Pour the mixture onto the baking tray in a thin layer and bake for 25 – 35 minutes, opening the oven to stir the mixture every 10 or 15 minutes. When cooked, the granola should be toasty brown without being burnt. If you want, stir through the chocolate chips or add some dried fruit while it is cooling.
Store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.