Marcona Almond, Cherry & Chocolate Blondies

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Blimey these blondies are good. They’re so good that I only had time to snap a couple of incredibly dull pictures before I had to tuck in, my willpower falling to the wayside.

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The secret here, as in a lot of good things, is the almond butter. In much the same way as it adds richness to a bowl of overnight oats, here it adds an irresistible depth of flavour that blondies can sometimes lack.

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Crunchy almonds, dried sour cherries and chunks of deeply dark chocolate add just the right amount of interest and variety to every bite. (Chocolate, almonds and cherries are always a fantastic combo, see also my cherry chocolate frangipane tart, ridiculously good.) (continue reading…)

Honeyed Pistachio and Almond Granola

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I’m a breakfast obsessive. As addictions go I suppose this is one of the least offensive that I could hope for. The problem is that I’m stuck in a repetitive breakfast cycle of my own creation.

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Given the chance (which usually hinges on whether or not the grater is clean), I will happily eat the same breakfast each and every day. A whole grated apple mixed with oats, yoghurt and milled flax seeds. Prepared before I get in the shower in the morning, by the time I come out the oats have softened just enough for eating (although I’m sure they’d be nicer if left in the fridge overnight). It’s full of healthy ingredients, with the right amount of sweetness from the apple to stop it feeling like a chore to eat.

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Sometimes though, I have to shake things up and break out of my breakfast rut and that’s where this granola recipe comes into play.


Granola is endlessly adaptable and you can adjust the ingredients to your taste incredibly easily. Don’t like nuts? Leave them out. Fancy a bit of dried fruit? Whack some in there (after you’ve cooked the rest of the granola obviously!) Looking for a slightly healthier breakfast than cocopops? Why not add a little cocoa powder into the mix?


For me the completely non-negotiable add ins have to be coconut (in this case in 2 forms) and almonds, it really wouldn’t be granola without them. They are 2 of my favourite flavours and both add the essential crunch with makes granola what it is. Without them what’s the point? I may as well get back in my rut!

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Honey is also indispensable here, it’s the glue that holds the other ingredients together and sweetens the whole shebang (spelling??), so that only minimal sugar is required (and you could probably leave it out altogether and still be perfectly satisfied). For my vegan friends out there (well vegan friend anyway, you know who you are!) maple syrup will work a treat too and impart it’s beautiful mapley flavour into your breakfast situation.

I recommend lashings of yoghurt and some summery berries as accompaniments, but milk (almond milk?) would work wonders too.

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Honeyed Pistachio and Almond Granola

I’ve gone a little American with my measurements here, it’s easier than getting the scales out and granola should be quick and simple to whip up, so please forgive me my British chums!


3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup coconut shreds or desiccated coconut
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
pinch of salt
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes (if you can only find untoasted, add them right at the start)

Start by preheating your oven to 175 C / 155 C fan oven / 350 F and line a large baking sheet (with slightly raised sides) with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut shreds, oil, honey and salt until thoroughly incorporated. Next add in the brown sugar and stir that thoroughly through.

Tip the whole mixture out onto the baking sheet and put it in the oven for 30 minutes, giving it a stir around every 10 minutes and keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too dark at the edges. Finally add in the toasted coconut, stir it through and put it back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Carefully tip the granola into a large bowl to cool giving it a stir every so often to breakdown any large clumps. Once completely cooled decant it into a storage jar and enjoy! It will keep for at least a week, if not longer, but good luck resisting it!

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