Tag Archives: dates

Gluten free granola in 10 minutes.

gluten free granola

I have a confession to make. Some recipes scare me. A few because I have tried them and failed. Others simply intimidate me with their seemingly complex steps. These types of recipes, I avoid. Jam actually falls under the category of scary recipe, which now seems a funny thing to admit, seeing as the apricot jam I made in my previous post was a great success. Even Grandma Elma, veteran jam maker, who I gave a jar to agreed. Delicious. So with my new found confidence I embarked on a gluten free granola recipe that I had stumbled across a while back. Granola comes under the scary heading. Even though I love eating it, I avoid making it. So many times my efforts have resulted in charred, inedible birdseed, instead of lovely, chunky, toasted clusters of nuts and seeds. Not this recipe. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s delicious.

gluten free granola

The original recipe is very straightforward, and I managed to make it even simpler by chopping the nuts in the food processor, after I’d made the pineapple paste that all the dry ingredients are mixed with. I swear. From picking up my knife to chop the pineapple, to putting the trays of gluten free granola in the oven took 10 minutes. And an hour later, as my oven is as hot as the inside of a volcano, which is great for cooking meat, but not for baking delicate morsels, the gluten free granola was done. A lovely golden toasted colour, with clusters of crunchy goodness. It was a success! So much so that Thea, who was in my arms when I checked it for the final time, spied it and demanded some then and there. She has recently become very good at demanding and is so persistent that she almost always gains what it is that she wants. This is not something that I was prepared for as a parent, little people being so insistent upon what they want. Still, it’s nice to know that I have one fan of my latest scary recipe conquest.DSC_0312

Another thing that scares me that I’ve been doing more of recently is surfing. I’ve been meeting up with a wonderful group of surfing mums. Being a complete novice, I panic when I’m in the water among experienced and competent surfers. And when I catch a wave I balk. Wide eyed I freeze on my knees as I’m propelled forwards. Thoughts like, should I try to stand. Surely I’m too late to stand. Am I really on this wave. Am I going to hit someone, go through my head. So I bail. Don’t get me wrong. This whole process just described is so much fun. To be out in salt water, fresh air, free, is the best. The feeling of exhilaration when it all comes together is such a rush, the smile on my face hurts it’s so wide. And I guess thats what this post is about. Overcoming fears. Doing the things that you are scared of. Because you never know. You might just succeed. And that feels great.

gluten free granola

Pineapple gluten free granola.

From a recipe by Nom Nom paleo

  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 5 pitted Medjool dates
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbs vanilla powder
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 cups raw whole almonds
  • 1 cup raw whole cashews
  • 1 cup flaked almonds
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

Place the pineapple, dates, orange juice and zest, vanilla, cinnamon and coconut oil in a food processor and whizz to a paste.

Add the whole almonds and cashews to the processor and pulse three of four times until the nuts are coarsely chopped.

In a separate large bowl, place the flaked almonds, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds and salt and then add the contents of the food processor and mix well.

Spread the pineapple coated nuts and seeds out over two baking paper lined trays and put the trays into an oven pre heated to 100 degrees C.

Bake the gluten free granola for one to two hours, but make sure that every 20 minutes during this time that you toss the granola to make sure that it cooks evenly.

When you feel that it is sufficiently coloured and dry, turn the oven off and leave the gluten free granola to cool inside. When cool, transfer to storage containers with a good seal. Consume within about two weeks.

Love granola. Then you might like to try this savoury granola recipe

How to make date syrup.


Recently I held a dinner party for all of our friends to celebrate mine and The Contemporary Builder’s 35th birthdays. It was an excuse to go all out. 30 guests, table linen, flowers, fairy lights and four courses. Plus celebrating the sale of my business and having friends over since the birth and homecoming of Thea months earlier was dramatically overdue. As a group our lives have  changed intensly over the past few years, as we have paired off and become units of three and four, with the welcome addition of tiny versions of ourselves. The tiny people in our lives  can make it tricky to meet up en masse, especially in the evening. So the date was set, the baby-sitters booked and the planning commenced. For the entree I wanted to put together an array of visually stunning canapés, presented on a long board that would run down the centre of the table. Something that would wow guests from the get go and set the scene for the evening.


I found inspiration for my entree among other places in Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. A picture of a dip drizzled with a dark, glossy syrup and freckled with black and white sesame seeds caught my eye. Upon reading the recipe, the dip was butternut pumpkin, the method seemed straightforward, but the garnish. Date syrup. The combination sounded intriguing and I could imagine how the rich date liquid would set off the pumpkin dip. As it was an all out dinner party, I decided to challenge myself and have a go at my own homemade date syrup.

Date syrup

With only two ingredients, making date syrup is a simple process that requires time rather than action. I have successfully teamed it with my morning porridge and grilled goats cheese on toast. It transforms into a deliciously sticky salad dressing to go with a green salad, liberally tossed with sautéed sliced red onion and toasted, chopped almonds, when whisked together with some extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. I reckon over ice cream with some smashed nuts or rolled inside pancakes with cream would hit the spot too.

Date syrup

Ingredients-1 cup dates and 1 cup boiling water

DSC_0888Method-soak the dates in boiling water overnight. In the morning, place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and line it with a piece of cheese cloth or a Chux. Pour the date mix into the sieve. Bring the corners of the cloth together and squeeze out the liquid. To make sure I got all the liquid from the dates, I secured the cloth with an elastic band and then weighted it with a mortar and pestle, again overnight. In the morning, simply reduce the resulting liquid in a pan over a low heat (too high and the syrup boils over) for about 10 minutes.