With Lúnasa just after taking place, we've finally arrived into harvest season in full swing, where berries, fruit, grains, seeds and nuts are the order of the day. This delicious recipe is a firm favourite in our household and when kept in a large clean airtight container, in a cool and dark place, it will keep perfectly in your pantry for months. I make a large amount once a year, adapting the basic recipe to use whatever is in season at the time. This seasons batch will most certainly avail of the abundance of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in the garden as well as a selection of wild seeds that I will gather from the hedgerows, all of which I will add into the blend afterwards, raw. Currently we also have bilberries, blackberries, elderberries, and cranberries in season, so these will add a nice (nutritionally dense) taste explosion and bring lovely colour to your bowl too (we eat with our eyes first and foremost).
As a child my parents used to purchase boxes of 'Crunchy', a breakfast cereal similar to this, and mix it in with our muesli. I was never a fan of the muesli brand they purchased, however I always remembered picking the bits of crunchy out of the bowl and loving it. It's what started me off with making my own 'Crunchy' years later, which is these days otherwise known as 'Granola'. It's the easiest thing in the world to make, and the variations are endless. Seeing as this is I am devouring alot of lately, I decided to share this recipe with you.
The below recipe will make four large breakfast portions (if you eat it as a breakfast cereal with milk), or if you eat it over yoghurt for brunch, there will easily be 8-10 portions. I find that this is also delicious to nibble on straight from a bowl, on its own. Here's how to make your own...and always buy local, seasonal, and organic!
Raw Chocolate, Coconut and Almond Crunchy 6 cups rolled steel cut oats (purchase gluten free oats if you are gluten intolerant) 2 cup raw whole almonds 2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup coconut oil 4 heaped tablespoons of coconut blossom sugar (or normal brown sugar if you wish) 1/2 cup of almond nut butter* 1 cup of red grape and lemon thyme syrup (you could use honey, maple syrup, date syrup, agave syrup etc instead if you wish) 1 cup of your favorite raw chocolate bar, roughly chopped raspberries or other seasonal fresh berries to decorate
Preheat the oven to 170°c. Mix the oat flakes, salt, sugar and whole almonds together well in a large bowl so that all ingredients are coated in the sugar. Place the red grape syrup (or other sweetener), coconut oil and almond nut butter in a small pan and gently heat until the coconut oil is melting. Pour the liquid over the dry oat mixture, and mix well until all dry ingredients in your bowl are coated with the liquid. Place the mixture evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes (or until golden brown in color). Take it out half way to stir it around so as to prevent overcooking at the edges. When done, take out of the oven and leave to cool. Once it has cooled down, mix through your raw chocolate pieces. Store the Crunchy in an airtight container.
Serve up either over your favorite yogurt or with milk as a breakfast cereal. I've served it here sprinkled with bruised raspberries over the top as I find they go well with dark chocolate. I've also added a dollop of 'o-ghurt'. O-ghurt is a fermented oats 'yoghurt', a vegan substitute I came up with for dairy free and soy free yoghurt, using local ingredients. Oat yoghurt, hence the reason I call it o-ghurt!
The o-ghurt recipe can be found HERE and I will share the grape and lemon thyme syrup recipe soon as the grapes are ripe next month. So if you are interested, be sure to check back toward the end of next month!
*if you fancy making your own almond nut butter, it is quite easy - all it requires is a blender with a 's-blade' and a little patience. I actually used my Vitamix blender on the slowest setting and it did the trick also. Simply place two cups of raw whole almonds into the blender and switch on. You may need to tamper down the edges a few times as you will find the powder starts to build up on the walls of the container. After about 4 minutes you will notice the nuts starting to release their natural oils and the mixture begins to come together. After about 6-7 minutes you will notice the mixture has turned into a smooth 'peanut butter' consistency - it is then that you know your homemade nut butter is ready for use. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.