When I was backpacking, my breakfasts changed with the continents. In South East Asia it was generally pancakes – really thick, fluffy ones, with the emphasis on the ‘cake’ part, often with banana hidden in the middle and honey drizzled on. They were generally accompanied by a fresh fruit shake, and the entire delicious affair cost about 50p and set me up beautifully for a morning of sightseeing or sunbathing.
In New Zealand everything was more expensive, and I was bunking up in dorms and preparing my own breakfasts in communal kitchens. Like most of the travel buddies I met along the way, I bought big bags of supermarket granola which squashed into my backpack as I travelled from place to place around the islands, and picked up yoghurts on the go and that became my go-to breakfast. And occasional supper. And pick-me-up snack. I don’t know why I’d never discovered the wonders of granola and yoghurt before, but now the combination is firmly cemented in my mind as the breakfast that sets you up for hikes, explorations and adventures. But it’s just as good on non-adventuring days too, I promise.
Serves 6, slightly adapted from Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights
200g rolled oats
70g pumpkin seeds
50g flaked almonds
50g dessicated coconut
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp apple juice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
pinch of nutmeg
100g chopped dried cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds and coconut.
3. In a separate bowl combine the vanilla, honey, juice and spices.
4. Tip the dry ingredients into the liquids and mix well.
5. Spread the mixture out evenly over the baking tray, using a spatula to smooth it down.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it and turn the mixture over with the spatula halway through to ensure it cooks on both sides – the original recipe says to bake it for 40 minutes, but 20 was on the edge of burnt for me. It could just be my silly mini ovens, of course. As it bakes, a delicious cinnamon-y aroma will waft through the house (and linger for quite some time). Remove it from the oven when it’s browned, it will become hard and crunchy as it cools.
7. Let it cool, then add the chopped cherries. Keep in an airtight container and serve with milk or yoghurt.