Thursday, December 10, 2015

thursday recipe: terri anne leske's choc pecan granola

Food helps to create traditions,
community, love and joy. 
It has a way of bringing people
together and making us happy.
~ Terri Anne Leske

It's been a while between posts. Again. I'd love to be more consistent with my posting but it is just not turning out that way at the moment. So, thanks for continuing to visit and for your patience. 
Let's get on with a recipe.

Today's recipe comes from blogger and mother of three, Terri Anne Leske who blogs at Carrotsticks and Cravings.

Terri Anne is originally from a sleepy little fishing village on the New South Wales south coast where as a child her Dad taught her to dive for abalone and catch fish. These days she finds herself in the bright city lights of Singapore, where she has lived for the past 4 years with her husband and their children, twins Eli and Olivia who are 3 and her baby girl Halle who has just turned one.

How Terri Anne has found time to blog and to write and self-publish her first cookbook I'll never know! But write a book she has and not only that she has done all the photography herself too.

Before we get into the recipe here is a Q & A I did with Terri to find out a bit more about life in Singapore and her love of cooking...

What do you love about living in Singapore? It is a cultural melting pot, and being so close to so many other amazing countries we are lucky to travel regularly. It's a great place to have a young family and has given me the opportunity to follow my passion writing this book and my blog. I've also met so many amazing people throughout our time here. 

Where does your passion for food and cooking come from? My mum was always a foodie, she used to get in the kitchen and just whip up something amazing with whatever we had in the house. I started cooking from a young age learning from her and learning my baking skills from my grandma. I love creating amazing meals for friends and family and trying new things. I also love baking and have always said baking is my therapy - when I was pregnant with my twins and had too much time on my hands I was baking batches of cupcakes and cakes daily! The kitchen is my happy place and I love now getting my kids involved in creating meals and getting them excited about food too - it's not just about the eating that I love it's the journey too and the creating :-) 

Why the name Carrotsticks and Cravings? When I decided to write a blog I played with so many names and I wanted the name to really resemble me and my food philosophy - which is all about balance. I feel Carrotsticks and Cravings does that! The majority of my recipes are super healthy and full of superfoods but I love making decadent cakes and treats too. We can have anything in life, it's all about balance. 

Why did you start your blog? I was cooking a lot and constantly throwing dinner parties and a friend wanted a recipe and said I should start a blog. I'm a terrible writer if I'm being honest but I loved the idea of sharing my creations with others and inspiring them to try new things in the kitchen. It's grown organically and I love to see and hear that people are making my recipes. 

What do you hope readers will get out of your cookbook? I want to get people excited in the kitchen and try things they normally wouldn't. I want readers to be able to make healthy nutritious meals from my cookbook for their loved ones and create memories in the process cooking and enjoying good food. 

What do you love the most about cooking? The eating of course!! I love that food creates traditions and brings people together. Some of my best memories involve amazing meals I've shared with loved ones. I also love trying new flavours and experimenting with different combinations. 

Terri Anne shares her recipe for Choc Pecan Granola.

Makes 4 Cups

1/2 cup raw pecans chopped
1/4 cup raw almonds chopped
2 cups thick cut rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
⅓ cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pre heat the oven to 160 C. 
Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Chop the nuts roughly into smaller pieces.
Add nuts and all other ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.
Spread out granola mix onto the baking tray and bake for 8 minutes.
Mix/turn the granola and return to the oven for a further 8 minutes until golden.
Mix/turn the granola and return to the oven for a further 8 minutes until golden brown.
Once cooled transfer to an airtight jar and keep at room temperature for up to a month.
– If you want to keep it longer store in the fridge.

(photo credit: Terri Anne Leske)

Terri likes to serve this with Greek yoghurt and fresh seasonal berries, as overnight oats layered with yoghurt and berries, with fruit salad or as a crumble topping for desserts. I think it could be the perfect dish for breakfast on Christmas morning.

Thanks Terri Anne!

To read Terri's blog visit Carrotsticks and Cravings and to buy her cookbook go here.

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