Chocolate Orange Granola

Breakfast is the time to be a little self-indulgent. And nothing spells monotony like packaged cereal. I love having a big jar of granola in the kitchen, to eat over yogurt for breakfast, or as is, grasped by the handful, any time I pass the jar. If you think granola is cereal with pretensions, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends anymore. ⁣

The actual making of it is incredibly easy; the only big deal here is the shopping. 

What you will need – (To fill a 2.5 litre jar)
  1. Rolled oats⁣ – 3 cups
  2. Sunflower/pumpkin seeds⁣ – 1 cup
  3. Almonds/walnuts – 1 cup⁣
  4. Dried fruit (apricots, cranberry, figs) – 1 cup⁣
  5. Zest of 1 orange⁣
  6. Runny honey (or golden syrup)⁣ – ½ cup
  7. Orange juice⁣ – ½ cup
  8. Unsweetened cocoa powder⁣ – ⅓ cup
  9. Lime juice⁣ – 1 tsp
  10. Vegetable oil⁣ – 3 tablespoons
  11. Sea salt⁣ – 1 teaspoon
Method –
  • Mix oats, seeds and nuts in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lime juice, cocoa powder, oil, orange zest and salt. Stir well to make a paste.
  • Add this paste to the bowl of oats and nuts and mix thoroughly.
  • Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 150°C for 35-40 mins or till perfectly crunchy, stirring occasionally. ⁣
  • Once cooled, add in dried fruit and mix. ⁣

Storage notes –

Store in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Fruit and Chia Pudding Parfait

It’s really hard to mess up recipes involving fruit and granola. I understand the texture of Chia seed pudding, isn’t for everyone. If the texture has disappointed you in the past, this time try blending it into a smooth and creamy pudding.

These parfaits make for a breakfast-on-the-go option, but let’s be real, you’re not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. These can also be enjoyed as a healthy snack or dessert as well.

What you will need – (4 servings)

For Chia Pudding

  • Chia seeds – 1/2 cup 
  • Coconut milk – 1/2 cup (full-fat )
  • Raw coconut sugar – 1/4 cup (adjust to taste)
  • Almond milk or dairy milk – 2 cups 
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon 
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon 

For Parfait

  • Granola – 1 1/2  – 2 cups (optional)
  • Fresh Kiwi – 2
  • Mango – 2
Method –

For Chia pudding –

  1. To a large bowl, add coconut milk, almond milk, and sugar. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, then pour into an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let it thicken.
    (You can blend the pudding after it has thickened if you prefer a creamy texture)

For assembling the parfait –

  1. Cut up the fruits however you like.
  2. Grab 4 large glasses of your choice.
  3. Alternate layers of of pudding, granola, and fruit in any order until full.
  4. Serve immediately.

Storage notes –

Stores well in the fridge up to 24 hours.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Coconut Lime Banana Bread

Overripe, squishy, spotty bananas are just banana bread that you haven’t made yet. And since everyone seems to have over ripe bananas at the moment, I thought it’s the perfect time to add a slightly different banana bread recipe.

What you will need –
  1. Bananas – 4 medium, over-ripe
  2. Egg – 1 large
    (For Vegan option – mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed powder with 2.5 tablespoons of water)
  3. Light oil – 2 tablespoons (vegetable/canola)
  4. Light coconut milk – 1/2 cup
    (Sub with any other milk for non-coconut version)
  5. Zest of 1 lime
  6. Lime juice – 3 tablespoons
  7. All purpose flour – 1 cup 
  8. Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup 
  9. Oat flour – 1/2 cup
  10. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  11. Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  12. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  13. Honey – 1/2 cup (Adjust to taste)
Method –
  1. Preheat oven for 160°C.
  2. Mash together the 4 bananas in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk egg, oil, coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and honey (if you like your bread on the sweet side) into the mashed bananas. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until completely incorporated.
  6. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil/butter. Pour batter into pan. Slice a banana length-wise and top the batter (optional).
  7. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from middle. Let cool on a rack before slicing.

Storage notes –

Once cooled, store in an airtight box in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Date pudding with sticky toffee glaze

Sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert consisting of a date infused cake sponge with a hot toffee sauce poured on top. Even if you don’t like dates, it’s likely you will enjoy this dessert. The dates melt down into a golden sweetness, deepening the flavour of the cake sponge. Add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to round it off and you’ve got yourself a sensation.

This recipe is my adaptation of the classic. I use salt and lemon to offset and tone down the intense sweetness.

What you will need –

For Date Pudding

  1. Soft dates – 150 grams, deseeded
  2. Boiling Water – 150 ml
  3. Butter – 30 grams (sub with 22ml or 1/8th cup oil for vegan option)
  4. All purpose flour – 100 grams 
  5. Brown sugar – 50 grams  
  6. Egg – 1 large (sub with flaxseed egg)
  7. Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon 
  8. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  9. Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon  
  10. Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

For Toffee Glaze

  1. Muscovado (Khandsari) sugar – 60 grams (sub with brown sugar)
  2. Water – 2 tablespoons
  3. 150 ml fresh cream (sub with coconut milk for vegan option)
  4. Butter – 1 tablespoon (sub with coconut oil for vegan option)
  5. Salt – Generous pinch
  6. Lemon juice – 1/2 tablespoon
Method –
  1. Place the dates in a bowl, add hot water, cover and keep aside for 10 mins.
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 6″ round baking tin with parchment paper. (For individual servings, use small ramekins or puddings moulds)
  3. Add butter to the bowl of dates. Stir to melt the butter.
  4. Blend the date and butter mix to make a smooth paste
  5. Once cool, add egg and vanilla extract to the date paste. Whisk to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Whisk to combine. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
    (If using ramekins or small moulds, bake for only 30 mins)
    Leave the pudding in the pan for 10 minutes to cool.
  9. While the pudding is cooling, prepare the toffee sauce.
    To a saucepan, add sugar and water. Place on medium high heat and whisk continuously.
  10. The sugar will melt and turn into a bubbly liquid in less than 5 mins. When the colour turns a little darker, add butter, salt, lemon juice and whisk continuously.
  11. Add cream or coconut milk, turn the flame to low and simmer for another 5 mins.
  12. When the cake has cooled sufficiently, gently invert it on a serving plate. Poke several holes with a skewer.
  13. Pour half the toffee sauce over the cake. Reserve the remaining to be poured over individual servings.
  14. Add some chopped walnuts on top and serve immediately.
    Add a scoop of ice cream if you’re feeling super indulgent.

Storage notes –

It keeps for days and days in the fridge and once reheated, it’s just like it’s fresh out of the oven.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Homemade Energy Bars

If you’re a snacker like me, it can be really tempting to reach for a packaged sweet or savoury snack for some mid-meal sustenance. We all crave a little something every now and then but it is often the most overlooked part of meal prepping and planning.

Snacks, most often, are packaged in wasteful plastic. The shiny interiors of your favourite snack bar or potato crisps is made my fusing aluminium and plastic together. This extremely thin fusion is hard to recycle because to separate them increases the cost multifold. When landfilled or incinerated, these bags pollute the environment and pose health risks to humans as well as wildlife. Food packaging is also the main source of the plastic pollution, often washes up on shores, clogs the ocean and is expected to exceed the weight of all fish by 2050 if we maintain the current rates.

Energy bars are extremely simple and easy to make at home. It’s no secret that knowing what goes into your food, especially if you cook it yourself, is a good step towards a balanced, healthy diet. And just because you make them at home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on interesting and fun options.

Fill your bellies, not garbage bins. Who’s with me?

What you will need –
  1. Old fashioned/Rolled oats – 3 cups
  2. Roasted almonds – 2 cups (roughly chopped)
  3. Dates – 1 heaping cup (approx 200 gms, use soft and fleshy varieties like medjool or deglet noor)
  4. Honey – 1/2 cup (sub with maple syrup/liquid jaggery to keep it vegan)
  5. Peanut butter – 1/2 cup (creamy, unsweetened)
  6. Salt – a generous pinch
  7. Seeds of choice – 6 teaspoons (optional)
  8. Dried fruit of choice – 2 tablespoons (optional)

Ideas for customisation –

Chocolate chips, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, apple sauce, any kind of seeds, any kind of dried fruit- raisins, cranberries, apricot, etcetera

Method –
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add nuts and oats to a baking tray and roast until slightly golden brown, about 15-20 mins.
  2. Add dates to a food processor and process till you’re left with a doughy ball. (This should take only a few seconds).
    Do not add any water to the dates. A syrupy consistency will lead to a not-so-great taste. Ask me how I know.
  3. Add all ingredients except the date paste to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add date paste to the mixing bowl a little at a time. Use a spatula to break it up and evenly disperse throughout the mix. Repeat till all date paste is added.
  5. Grease a 12×12-inch baking dish (or any flat bottomed dish) with a little oil. Transfer the mix to baking dish and roughly flatten with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  6. Press down to make it uniformly flat. I like to use a sheet parchment paper and a flat bottomed bowl to really pack the bars, cause nobody likes a crumbly, fall apart energy bar.
  7. Pop the dish in the fridge to firm up for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove dish from the fridge and chop into 12 even bars.

Storage notes :

Put a parchment paper under each bar (yes, reuse the sheet you used before by cutting it into smaller pieces), stack the bars in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month. (But seriously, they’ll be devoured way before that)

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Dark chocolate dessert hummus

Dessert Hummus, just like the original, is easy to make in the food processor, rich, silky smooth, and tantalisingly dunk-able. It’s a satiating sweet snack made with whole foods, filled with protein and fibre.⁣ Especially easy and simple to whip up when entertaining a large crowd. ⠀

What you will need –
  1. Cooked chickpeas – 1 1/2 cups (drained)
  2. Tahini – 1/4 cup (try peanut butter for a fun variation)
  3. Honey or maple syrup – 1/4 cup 
  4. Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup  (unsweetened)
  5. Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  6. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  7. Chickpea water – 2-4 tbsp (can also use plain water)
Method –
  • Add chickpeas, tahini, honey or maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and 2 tbsp water to a food processor.
  • Blitz to make a paste. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your container to achieve a uniform creamy consistency. Add extra water if required.
  • Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • Serve alongside fresh or dried fruit, cheese, homemade crackers or bread.

Store in an airtight container refrigerated for 7 to 10 days.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Fully customisable home made granola

We’re all prone to stressful, rushed mornings and in the midst of all the madness, breakfast often gets neglected or perhaps skipped altogether. I find the idea of starting my day on a savoury note rather unsavoury. I simply can’t resist the siren song of sugar in the mornings (strictly natural unrefined sugar). The easiest way to not skip breakfast is to make it ahead of time.

Quick oats or instant oats are old-fashioned oats that go through further processing to decrease cooking time. They’re partially cooked by steaming and then rolled even thinner than old-fashioned oats. They cook within a few minutes and have a mild flavour. The soft, mushy texture has an uncanny baby-puke like mouthfeel that I just can’t get past.

Steel-cut oats are most closely related to the original, unprocessed oat groat. They’re made by chopping oat groats into tiny pieces using large steel blades. They have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavour than rolled or quick oats. But they also take longer to prepare, with average cooking times varying 20–40 minutes.

I bulk buy steel cut oats and make a large batch of this super easy “Clear out the pantry” Granola. Its sweetened with honey, gets the crispness from peanut butter and is completely customisable. With just 10 mins of active involvement and 30 mins of the oven doing its thing, the granola ready to eat and lasts about 3 weeks.

Compare that to 10 mins on average per day for a month and quick oats don’t seem so quick anymore, do they? Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Better food choices are always out there. We just need to look for them.

What you will need?
  1. Rolled oats – 1 1/2 cups
  2. Steel-cut oats – 1 1/2 cups
  3. Flax seeds – 1/4 cup
  4. Pumpkin seeds – 1/4 cup
  5. Chia seeds – 1/4 cup
  6. Sunflower seeds – 1/4 cup
  7. Almonds, chopped – 1 cup
  8. Peanut butter – 1/2 cup
  9. Honey – 1/2 cup
  10. Cranberries or any other dried fruit – as desired
Method –
  • Add oats, chopped almonds, nuts and seeds to a large bowl. Set aside
  • Mix honey and peanut butter to make a smooth, runny paste. (Add a little water if needed)
  • Add the honey-peanut butter mix to the bowl of oats and nuts. Stir well to combine.
  • Transfer mix to a lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 30-45 mins (or till the top is slightly browned). Be sure to take the tray out and turn it every 15 mins.
  • Let cool and break into chunks. Mix with your choice of dried fruit.
  • To serve, add in some fresh fruit, yogurt, smoothie or good ol’ milk and breakfast is ready in a jiffy.

Stores well in an airtight jar for up to 3 weeks.

For customisation –

You can use rolled oats or steel cut oats or both.
And add whatever nuts and seeds you currently have in your pantry.
Honey can be substituted with maple syrup or liquid jaggery.

Ensure a nut-seed to oat ratio of 2:4
Ensure a wet to dry ingredient ratio of 1:5

Some of my other favourite homemade granola flavours are dark chocolate and espresso, rose, lavender, cinnamon and chocolate-coconut.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture and tag it #theslowkitchen on Instagram so I can see!