When I was a little girl, while living in a kampong, the Bread Man comes in a bicycle laden with bread on a huge box. When he opens the box, one side of it will become his cutting board.
He will take out loaves of French bread and long loaves of brown and white bread.
The brown bread apparently is not made from whole-wheat flour, which I had thought previously, but it gets the colour due to the use of brown sugar.
Normally one can buy slices of bread spread with one side margarine and the other side kaya. (Egg jam)
He also has a huge tin with red coloured jam, which is basically a mixed fruit jam.
There were times when we buy the bread and the spreads separately and he would place a dollop of each in pieces of a square tracing paper (now it is the Baking paper) and scrunches to make a small parcel, this is considered take-away, I wonder how many readers of my blog can reminisce this!
Another popular local breakfast item is the pancakes with peanuts, known as the banh chang kueh. The fun is watching him doing it. It is just like “Performance.” We the little ones will make OOHs and WAHs sounds while watching him. Now this peanut pancakes are available at most places at all times. This clearly declares that this is not just a breakfast item anymore.
I have evolved from my childhood days and now my breakfast is so important that I include a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fruits to have proper nutrition, as this is the first meal of the day.
So much goodness is said about oats so I have made it the main ingredient for this recipe.
Granola is a boon for people in a hurry as it is ideal to eat on the go. If you have time, you can add milk and eat it like cereal as part of a breakfast meal or it can be eaten as a cereal bar if you woke up late and don’t want to miss breakfast.
A great breakfast for anyone, which provides some health, benefits which also tastes so delicious. So lets to go to the kitchen to make this easy breakie!
My friends usually snack on it when they come over to my place! I do too while watching TV! Its like eating peanuts – just can’t stop!
Rens Granola Bars
6 cups rolled oats
½ cup grapeseed oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 tsp salt
2 cups nuts (almonds/walnuts/pecans or any other nuts that you prefer)
¾ cup honey
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 180C
Chop the nuts coarsely.
Put oats, chopped nuts, oil and salt in a baking pan and toast for 10 to 15 mins till slightly brown.
In a pan, over a medium flame, combine honey and brown sugar till sugar is dissolved.
Remove from stove, add the vanilla extract and the cinnamon powder. Mix.
Pour this over the oat mixture and stir till well combined.
Transfer to a prepared baking pan, press down firmly till you get an even and tight layer.
Bake at 160C for 30 to 40 mins.
Cool for 10 mins. Cut into bars all the way through.
Let it cool completely, separate the bars and store in jars with tight fitting lids.
You may wrap each bar individually and store in jars too.
You may reduce the brown sugar or omit it totally if preferred.
Maple syrup can be a good alternative too.
Other preferred flavorings such as butterscotch, caramel etc can be used instead or omitted.
Buy fresh nuts from a store that is well patronized. Somehow nuts tend to go rancid so do a check on the nuts before using.
You may want to add some dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas, apricots or cranberries if you prefer. But remember that the granola will not be crisp throughout as the dried fruits make it chewy.
You may crush some into small cereal size pieces – use it as topping for puddings, ice creams, cake toppings etc