Crack-nola – otherwise know as granola

Granola, yoghurt parfait
Granola, yoghurt parfait

This shit is addictive. I’m warning you, it is. Anyone within a 5km radius can’t resist this granola. Mother-in-law was babysitting one night and had to cover it in tea towels so she couldn’t see it anymore. My mum seems to magically appear at our door step everytime I’m pulling it out of the oven. And husband, literally takes it to work on the daily. So you have been warned.

But guess what? It’s also great for you! Loads of nutrients, good fats and some sneaky slower-released sugars, make it a much better snack to reach for than say, chips, or biscuits, or muesli bars. It’s got heaps of fibre in it, which keeps those bowels nice and regular (yes I’m 87 years old and care about bowels). And kids love it.

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So here it is:

Crack-nola granola.

Ingredients

In one bowl:

1.5 cups rolled oats

1 cup dessicated (not dessicrated) coconut

About 5 big handfuls of nuts, use whichever take your fancy

A handful or two of seeds, I usually use pepitas and sunflower seeds.

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1 teaspoon cinnamon

In another bowl:

Approximately 2.5 cups of dried fruit, chopped. I used dates, cranberries and sultanas this time, but apricots are also awesome in this.

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Random other ingredients:

Maple syrup, golden syrup or honey in a squeezy bottle or all three

Oil – preferably olive oil, sunflower or canola

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Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Line two baking trays with baking paper

Spread the dry mixture across the two trays.

Drizzle with oil over the lot. Then microwave your maple syrup/honey/golden syrup for about 20 seconds so it is runny. Be super careful because it can get extremely hot. Then squirt these across the trays too. Mix it around with a spoon. You want it to be just wet, not dripping.

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Put into the oven and keep checking even 10 minutes or so, stirring it around every now and then to mix the browned bits through and bring the uncooked bits to the top. When it starts getting golden, check it sooner. When it is almost done (flat white brown) sprinkle the dried fruit across the trays and put it in for the last bit until your granola is perfectly brown. It wont be crunchy at this point so don’t be disappointed.

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Let the trays cool and once they are crunch up the granola to your liking. I like to leave some clusters there, but if you want it more separated, be my guest.

Serve your crack-nola on yoghurt, for breakfast with milk, as a snack in a bowl, over fruit salad or any other bloody way you like!

Happy Cooking,

Heidi

Running playlist heaven!

Yeah that’s right. I’ve called it. I have achieved running playlist heaven. And it happened tonight. A running playlist that rocks is an absolute must have for me in terms of motivation. I have studied a University degree in Sports and Exercise Science as well as having my personal training qualifications too. So I know the background. I know the reasons why we need to be fit. I know how to get fit. I know ALL of it but the one single thing that actually gets me on the treadmill and keeps me there is a killer playlist.

Let’s backtrack for a minute. Since having kiddos I have changed body shape. Massively. I used to gain in my butt and thighs, which I have always been super happy about, because really, who out there doesn’t think Beyonce and the Kardashians are freaking hot?? My theme song is Baby Got Back. But sadly, since kids, due to my stomach region being stretched to all buggery, I seem to be gaining in the spare tyre region. One I’ve not really been familiar with and one I’m not particularly happy with. So, I’m not one to want to eat less food so I really have to get my arse into gear (literally) and do something exercise wise.

Now with all my knowledge of fitness and exercise, I know that the more muscle I have, the more kJs I will burn on a daily basis right. So why not build the muscle that I know will crank? Stay with me here, I’m getting somewhere. I have a strange ability to gain copious amounts of muscle in my legs and bum. My family would say it was due to all the running backwards in the several years of Touch Football I played. I however actually have a sneaky suspicion it comes from my mums side but wont go into detail as I don’t want to get into trouble if the word gets back to them 😉  So back to me. To give you a picture, my husband in our early days used to describe my legs as stanch (no not sexy, hot, glamorous), STAUNCH. He said that if I ever got mugged, at least I could snap my assaulters neck with my legs. I’m serious, if I wanted to, my legs could give two 100 year old gum trees a run for their money. For all of you playing at home from SA think Stuart Dew in a mini skirt!

Okay so to stop my rambling, my plan is, in short, to run and build up my leg muscles so they burn my fat stores and the food I’m eating so I don’t have to give up chocolate. So if you think you see Beyonce strutting down at Collos, don’t get excited, it’s just me with my muscle booty.

Okay to the playlist. This is my jam…

It HAS to start with a little Justin Bieber and Nikki Minaj, Beauty and A Beat. Yes that’s right, I am a Bel-ieber. This song gets me in the grooooooove and gets me excited to be running. I start on this song at about 7km/hr

Then we move into a little Macklemore, Can’t Hold Us. Ohhhh yyeeeaahhhh. This song is really hard to not sprint to but it gets me to increase my speed to 8.5 km/hr.

Next up is Icona Pop with I Love It. And this is some big time crank up music for me. I NEED something at this point to get me past the 10 minute mark. I was once taught at uni that it takes about 10 mins for your body to be able to get the oxygen into your cells from your lungs at a rate that will match the amount of oxygen you are using to exercise. My body seems to stick to this to the second. As soon as I hit 10 mins I go into cruisy mode and quite often find myself thinking why the F am I running at such a slow speed. Icona Pop gets me there.

Now that I’m feeling good and into my rhythm I hit the old school. Bomfunk MC’s, Freestyler. This song is PERFECT for 10km/hr for me. My feet hit the tready right on the beat and I make myself keep it up for all 2 minutes and 52 seconds. Now all you seasoned runners out there might be scoffing at my running speeds, but seriously for me, 10km/hr is sprinting. I have shorter legs than your average (I have a feeling that I am 3/4 body and 1/4 leg). It’s not a fitness thing, its a physical thing. Any faster and I would actually fly off the back of the runway.

It’s about this time that I normally start having thoughts of stopping. So in comes David Guetta, Sexy Bitch and a drop back to 8.5km/hr. Not only is the song a good speed but it reminds me why I’m running. Because heck yeah, I’m gunna be a sexy bitch. I can just imagine as I’m running Michelle Bridges looking at me saying daaaaannnggg girl, you a sexy bitch.

One little repeat back to Macklemore Can’t Hold Us, because the song is so freaking awesome and it gets me through my last running minutes.

Now after that I let myself stop running, but I’m not done with myself yet so I walk but crank up the incline to 7% and bust it out to more Macklemore (far out I love this guy) but Thrift Shop this time. I walk like a gangsta on that treadmill and keep reminding myself that the burning in my legs is more muscle being built, which means more chocolate and pasta I am able to consume guilt free!

Then of course, just to be pedestrian, I finish off with some rock hard abbadabbas. Ha ha. Well a few crunches actually. My ab muscles have taken a huge hit from carrying my two BIG bubbas and I’m slowly but steadily getting them back. I am finally at a point where I can suck my stomach in when I want to. Trust me, it’s pretty depressing when you have had kids and realise you can’t even pretend to be skinny anymore.

So I’m off to eat some chocolate now. I hope you enjoyed my random insight into my musical motivation!

Ta ta

Heidi