Store Cupboard Granola (Batch Cooking)

This was inspired by a recipe in Eat Smart by Niomi Smart, which I currently have out on loan from the Library.

This recipe relegated from my cupboards my seeds, walnuts and cranberries which has freed up a lot of space.

INGREDIENTS

60ml Coconut Oil

125ml Agave Nectar

200g Porridge Oats

260g of mixed nuts, I used walnuts and pecans

60g Mixed Seeds (or seeds of your choice)

120g Dried Fruit, I used Cranberries and Prunes

METHOD 

Heat the oil and agave nectar together until melted, then set aside.

Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until you have ‘chopped’ them into a mix of sizes.

Add the oats, nuts and seeds to a bowl and then pour over the oil/nectar mix, mix together.

Baked in the oven on Gas Mark 3 for 40 minutes/until golden and toasted.

Add the dried fruit and mix together.

Look at your depleted cupboards, smile and think ‘I need to go shopping’.

 

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Flo’s Gra-Yes-La*

*The title is my idea of humour, sorry.

I saw a lovely recipe for Granola in Gizzi Erskine’s ‘Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts’ which I have taken out of the library. The main appeal of the recipe was that it used dried apple and I had most of a bag of them left and they ‘technically’ expired…in November. So it was probably about time to use them up.

I didn’t have all the ingredients that Gizzi used, so this is my version, but I did use her cooking method, so give a clap to Miss Erskine.

If you have never heard of Gizzi Erskine, then do check her out, she has fab recipes, presented good shows on healthy eating and she responded to me on Twitter years ago, so she is nice as well.

FLO’S GRA-YES-LA

INGREDIENTS

150g Dried Apple, cut into small pieces

200g Porridge Oats

75g Pecans, cut into small pieces

100ml Honey

30ml Rapeseed Oil

1 tsp Vanilla Extract/vanilla bean paste

50g Mixed Seeds

25g Milled Flaxseed

1 tsp Cinnamon

METHOD

Add the cinnamon, oil, honey and vanilla extract to a bowl and slightly mix.

Add all the dried ingredients APART FROM the dried apple, and mix together.

Spread the Granola mix out across two baking trays, thinly.

Cook for 20 mins at Gas Mark 2 then add the dried apple and cook for a further 10 minutes.

TOP TIP – STERILISING JARS

Something as pretty as this shouldn’t be stored away in a tupperware, but I generally don’t use Kilner jars anymore, but wanted to for this.

I pulled the kilner jars down from the top of the cupboard where they had been for many a yonks and whilst you should always sterilise your jars, I knew it would be extra important now.

I washed the glass jars in very hot, soapy water. Then I rinsed them, placed all three in a roasting tray and when I took the granola out to cool from the oven I placed the jars in (so they were in at Gas Mark 2).

Leave inside the oven for about 20 minutes, then take out and leave to cool.

Fill with your lovely granola.

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Losing Weight The Frugal Way Week 2

So it has been another week of trying to stick to 1550 calories and going to the gym.

I know a truly frugal way to lose weight would involve no gym membership, no personal trainer, instead it would involve Youtube videos, running on the streets, so let’s just say I am doing it my way.

I have arranged one personal training session a month. I cannot afford more. My gym is a budget no frills gym, it is £19.99 a month. That’s relatively cheap isn’t it? My personal training sessions are £30 for an hour, technically I haven’t had my first session yet, but I have paid for it.

So £49.99 is what I am spending on my losing weight goal each month. But then we will have to include the inevitable replacement or addition of sports equipment, but if last year taught me anything it was that I know how to grab a bargain.

I currently have £20 in Marks and Spencers vouchers through one of my many market research side hustles. And I do lust after the active wear in their stores. So I should be able to cope with any essential purchases that need to be made in the future.

Anyway, on to the stats.

I am still a bit too shy and reluctant to state what my starting weight and measurements were. This is not so much embarrassment on my behalf, but more if there is someone reading this who is in a similar boat, but may weigh more, then I don’t want to potentially have made them feel bad.

What I will say is I started at 12.75 pounds and a certain amount of stone. Last week I had lost 4.5 pounds and was 8.25 pounds and a certain amount of stone.

This week I had lost another 4.125 pounds (my scales do 8th’s of pound measurements so you may find some funny numbers on here).

What I am concerned about is I have a tendency to be really gung ho and dedicated to a new fitness and health regime, but then life gets in the way and I lose the time or energy to look after myself, and then I put the weight back on.

Which is why I have decided this will be a weekly update, to keep me accountable.

The first week of my new calorie plan meant I was hungry a lot, even after eating. This is because I am used to eating big portions, and I also have a fear of hunger. I am trying to train myself to get used to the sensation of being hungry and to know that I am not going to starve and I am fortunate to have the money to buy food easily and readily, and that I will be fine.

I will be honest, I say it is a calorie plan, rather then a diet. As TV chef Tom Kerridge says in his TV series ‘How to Lose Weight Well’ ‘The first three letters of diet are die’. Maybe this isn’t the best way to live but I have had previous success losing weight using the app MyFitnessPal just based on the premise that if I consume less calories then I need then I will lose weight. So whilst I am only doing one cheat meal a week, I am fitting in what I want to eat as long as my calorie allowance allow it.

I am following the basic premise of slimming world, but without wasting my money on it. By which I mean that I have one official weigh in each week (Saturday) which is the day I take my weight measurements from, and I have enlisted The Boy to make me certificates when I reach milestones.

For anyone who has done Slimming World, you will know that you get certificates when you reach things like ‘Half Stone Award’ etc, so now that I have lost nearly 9 pounds then The Boy made me this to put on the fridge.

IMG_7477

I have also decided that when I lose my first stone I will get my hair cut, whether I can afford it or not (I can’t). This is because through being frugal, doing a no spend year, being in debt and having limited funds it has now been over two years since I had my haircut and whilst I have been saying it’s because I am growing my hair, I guess its fair to say that about 30% of the length is split ends (yuk).

So there you have it, week 2 has been a success, I am not anticipating another 4 lbs+ weight loss next week, but I will try my best.

 

 

1 way to your 5 a day: Sweet Potato Toast

Hi everybody.

Remember how in yesterday’s post about the Courgette porridge I mentioned it was inspired by an article about sweet potato toast?

Ta Dah!

Yes, I decided to try the sweet potato toast.

The original article said all you needed to do was put it in a toaster on a high setting and it would be ready. That may be true by their definition, but I put it in for 9 minutes and it was still very tough, not exactly raw, but tough. It might be better to put it in slices in the oven or under a grill instead.

I had it with banana and peanut butter which was very nice. I reckon it would also be nice with cottage cheese or a poached egg and spinach.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I could try next? I would love to hear your ideas, you can suggest something outlandish if you like and I’ll give it a trial run.