Back to the slow cooker

I’ve been watching with interest as Fiona, over at The Cottage Smallholder gets to grips with her slow cooker. I swear by mine! One of the easiest, and money-savingist recipes I make in it is breakfast cereal. The Americans call this granola (pshaw!) and we’d probably call it muesli, if we called it anything, but we tend to just keep it in a big airtight box and call it breakfast!

What’s it got to do with allotments?

Well quite a lot really. When I first made it, I used this recipe, which is American, and because I had no idea that a ‘cup’ was a metal or glass receptacle, something like a funnel, that has hundreds of markings on the side to allow Americans to measure ingredients accurately, I just grabbed a mug and measured my stuff that way. It worked just perfectly, and although I do now have a real measuring cup for American recipes, I still make this with a mug.

4 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup honey
1 cup bran
1 cup wheatgerm
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower oil

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low heat with lid slightly ajar about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool and store in airtight jar. Use within 1 to 2 weeks.

Hmm. Good, but not perfect.

What we do now is all the above, cook for five hours with the wooden spoon left in the pot to keep the lid ajar and the timer set to remind me to stir it every hour and a half or so. But we also tend to add to the cooking mix, any of the following:

--dried blueberries from the allotment
--dried apple slices from the allotment
--chopped walnuts (okay, not exactly from the allotment, but from the walnut trees in a local park, which nobody else seems to harvest)
--hazelnuts, from Bert’s allotment hedge, when he can spare some

Which turns a good cereal into an absolute delight. Great with yoghurt in summer, or hot milk in winter. Mixed with some melted butter and golden syrup it makes flapjacks, and with some butter and flour rubbed together with a bit of sugar, makes a healthy crumble mix for pulpy apple gluts if I can’t be bothered to make apple butter.

We don’t dry much fruit, but I once owned a big mesh thingummibob that was supposed to be used to dry cashmere sweaters flat by being laid over a bath. When I gave up wearing cashmere, we realised that we could use the thingummy to dry fruit by cutting it into small even sized portions, laying it on the mesh and drying it in the airing cupboard.

So we eat this luxury breakfast cereal, which is salt-free and made exactly to our own taste, for the price of a few pence, and every few weeks I make up another batch, varying the additions according to what’s in the jars above the sink, and I feel very virtuous about it.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Sunday, January 27, 2008


Blogger Cottage Smallholder said...

This sounds amazing! Will try making this next weekend when I have a bit more time! Thanks for sharing.

I've got the American cups too!

January 27, 2008 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Thanks so much for this.

January 27, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

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