Homemade Granola

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I’ve been getting a little fed up of the same old same old on my yoghurt, so I thought I’d give homemade Granola a go, I don’t really like the shop bought as they seem to go a little OTT on the sugars & fats. So I had a look at different recipes & come up with my own version of things I love.

Firstly I lined two large baking sheets with parchment & pre heated the oven to 130c Fan.

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In a jug I put:

120ml Maple Syrup

2 tbsp Coconut Oil (I use Lucy Bee Coconut Oil)

2 tbsp Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

I melted these together & set aside while I got the dry ingredients together.

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300g Rolled Oats

100g Flaked Almonds (although I only had chopped Almonds, so they had to do)

60g Flaxseed (I use Linwoods Cocoa, Strawberries & Blueberries)

60g Pumpkin Seeds

60g Sunflower Seeds

60g Mixed Nuts

I mixed these together in a large bowl, then added the melted ingredients and mixed well

I then tipped half out on to one tray & the other half onto the second tray & spread out evenly.

& baked in the oven for 10 minutes

before mixing in

100g Mixed Berries

& placing back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

I then left them both on a cooling wire til completely cold.

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When it was cold I put into a storage container, it should keep well for up to a month. (although it wont last that long with me around).

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Of course I had to test it, so I had some on my natural yoghurt & I Loved it! Hope you do too.

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Making Natural Yoghurt at Home

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Homemade Natural Yoghurt.

I’ve always been a lover of Natural Yoghurt & remember my Mum leaving it on the top of the AGA overnight, I’d never thought of having a go myself as I don’t have an AGA but had a friend that mentioned she’d bought a special pot to make some in and it worked well. So after a little research I decided to get one of the Yoghurt machines that come with several jars, as I thought they’d be easier to store and for my husband to take individual portions to work. I also looked into the actual making of the yoghurt & learned that I’d have to heat the milk before pouring it into the jars, this seemed too much hassle to me until I read that you could use UHT milk instead, to which I was a happy bunny! So after yet more research I was happy to learn that for best results I should use a starter culture that was full fat (Total Greek yoghurt) & also UHT milk that was full fat (Tesco full fat UHT milk). Why was I happy about this? Well for a while now I’ve been moving away from all the low fat versions of food & the sugar free versions as well, as I was fed up of reading a whole host of bizarre ingredients they put in to replace the fat/sugar. I’d rather eat real produce & just have less of it. As my Grandma would say ‘A little of what you fancy does you good’.

So armed with my new machine I got started.

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As you can see from the photo, I now use one of my own yoghurts as my starter culture (instead of Total Greek yoghurt), so I haven’t bought yoghurt for a long time.

I put one heaped teaspoon of my starter culture into each jar.

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Then fill each one with the UHT milk and use one of the lids to shake each on up. The whole one litre carton fills these seven jars perfectly. Then I put the main lid over them and leave for between 6 – 9 hours. In the Winter months it seemed to take longer for them to set, so 9 hours overnight worked best. I’ve found in the Summer it’s more like 6 hours, so I’ve been putting them on in the morning & they’ve been ready by mid afternoon.

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To check that they’re done, I just give one a little wobble to check that it’s set. Then put all the red lids on and refrigerate until chilled.

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The end product is quite thick, but to get a more Greek style you’d need some muslin cloth, a sieve & a jug. Which means the excess whey would drip into the jug leaving you with a thicker yoghurt.

My favourite way of eating natural yoghurt is with fruit, seeds & of course Linwoods Flaxseed mixes.

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Then there’s nuts and some honey if you need sweetening up.

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Or you could try making yourself a Smoothie.

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Which ever way you eat your Natural Yoghurt… Enjoy….

It’s Lunchbox time again!

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Flapjacks for the Teenagers.

It’s back to school tomorrow so I have the usual head scratching of what to put in their Lunchboxes, thankfully our eldest (Jack) has now finished school & will hopefully be starting Collage in a couple of weeks, but that still leaves Alex, Meg & Amber in High school & I’m pretty sure they are as bored of eating packed lunches as I am of making them. Their day to day diet isn’t the best, so in a bid to get something healthy into their diet I’ll be making Flapjacks & without telling them I’ll be adding Linwoods ‘Flaxseed & Goji berries’ & ‘Flaxseed with probiotic & Vitamin D’ both a great source of Omega 3 & Fibre. So of course the trade off is that there’s lots of sugar in Flapjacks but hey-ho there is not much of our kids so I don’t think a bit of sugar is going to do them any harm, at least it’s homemade and made with lots of TLC.

So, lets start with the Ingredients:

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150g Unsalted Butter

120g Golden Syrup

150g Soft Brown Sugar

350g Rolled Oats

45g Linwoods Flaxseed with Probiotic & Vitamin D

45g Linwoods Flaxseed & Goji Berries

Pinch of Salt

12″ x 9″ Baking Tin, lined with Parchment paper

The Oven gets preheated to 200C/Fan 180C/400F/Gas 6

1. Measure the butter, syrup and sugar into a saucepan, place over a low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is blended.

2. Measure the Oats & both Flaxseed into a large bowl with the pinch of salt.

3. Pour the Butter/syrup/sugar into the large bowl containing the Oats and mix well.

4. Spoon the mix into the lined baking tin and firmly press the mixture down with the back of a tablespoon.

5. Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.

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A couple of tips to making a good Flapjack is to make sure you press the mix into the tin firmly & to use a good Parchment paper, as I’ve used cheap in the past & the paper has stuck to the flapjack & ruined it.

I score the Flapjack while it is still warm in the tin & then leave it to cool on a wire rack.

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It’s a big hit with the Teenagers of the house, & hopefully there will be enough left for their Lunchboxes this week.

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One of my favourite things to bake is a Wholemeal Spelt loaf of Bread.

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Today I fancied making Hubby & I a loaf, we’ve been Wheat free for nearly a year now & for the first 6 months we had no baked goods at all, but after getting over 4 stone off (63 lbs in total) I felt like I could stop being so strict with myself & was looking for Wheat free ways to bake. I came across ‘Spelt’ Flour & thought it would make a good substitute for Wheat in our baking, since it still has gluten in it, it makes a good loaf.

Spelt is an ancient relative of modern Wheat & the Wholegrain has a lovely nutty flavour to it.

This Recipe also includes some Linwoods – Milled Flaxseed with Almonds, Brazil Nuts & Walnuts.

Lets start with the ingredients that we’ll need:

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500g Wholegrain Spelt Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 Sachet(7g) Quick Yeast

1 tbsp Honey

400ml Warm Water

1 tbsp Olive Oil

75g Milled Flaxseed (with nuts)

I make one large 2lb Loaf, but you could make two small 1lb loaves if you prefer.

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The Oven gets preheated to 200C/Fan 180C/400F/Gas 6

1- Weigh the flour into a bowl & add the yeast on one side & the salt on the other.

2- Measure the Warm Water & stir in the Honey, & then mix into the flour.

3- Add the Olive Oil & mix well.

4- Oil your work surface & turn the dough out, knead for a while until it becomes less sticky, then knead in the flaxseed.

5- Flour your work surface so you can shape your dough & place into a well oiled loaf tin.

6- Cover & leave to rise for about an hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

7- Bake in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

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As you can see it makes a Beautiful Loaf of Bread, perfect for Sandwiches or Buttered Toast. It also keeps well for the next day. Enjoy.

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02/09/2013

Did this Recipe again today but exchanged the Flaxseed for 50g Sunflower seeds & split the dough into 9 balls, placed on a baking sheet & baked for 20 minutes.

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