sprouted kitchen strawberries

So maybe I got a bit greedy when I stopped by the farm for strawberries. They told me it'd be their last day of picking, the season had come to a close and friends, these strawberries are unlike any berry you've ever had. They are crimson red in their entirety and the juice seeps through your fingers like a summer peach. I bought six pints to have an appropriate strawberry binge before I wouldn't see them for another year. Fresh as they are, they turn pretty quickly, so there have been a lot of strawberry snacks. I ate most of them straight from the basket, made this again, put them in salad, on coconut gelato, and mashed up the rest in their last possible moment before turning on me for these yogurt cups. 

Cranachan is a snack from Scotland, which is traditionally whipped cream, whiskey, honey, raspberries and toasted oats. This is not traditional in any sense of the word, but since I got the idea from Nigel Slater, I figured I could describe this as such. You can't go in expecting granola, because it has a mouth feel closer to muesli than granola (drier, no crunch). Most recipes I crossed sweeten the oats and because I am such a granola fan, I couldn't help myself from adding nuts (there must be crunch!). I lightened it up by using greek yogurt and added a bit of cocoa to compliment the swirl of sweet berries. They save for a day or two, so I've packed up a few to have on hands for an afternoon sweet tooth. 

sprouted kitchen strawberries


Inspiration from Nigel Slater's Ripe

The strawberries I used were super ripe, and I would suggest you use the same if possible, as they yield a sweeter, juicier sauce. You could use frozen as well if you only come across immature, tart berries. The amount of sugar to get just a barely sweetened strawberry mash is up to you.

// cocoa cranachan //

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

3/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts

1/3 cup muscavado or light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. maple syrup 

pinch of sea salt


plain, lowfat Greek yogurt

1 pint ripe strawberries

2 tsp. natural cane sugar

sprouted kitchen strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking tray and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they turn lightish brown and just begin to smell nutty. While the oats toast, put the hazelnuts, muscavado, cocoa, maple and salt in a bowl. As soon as you pull out the oats, put them into the bowl of goodies and toss them around so the sugar melts onto the oats. *Typically, this is where cranachan would be done but the muscavado didn't melt well for me, so I put the mixture back in the oven for another 6 minutes to help it stick to the oats and nuts. If yours needs more heat to melt the sugar, just pop the tray back in. Remove to cool. 

Halve or quarter the strawberries and put them in a large mixing bowl with the sugar. Give them a rough mash, but enough to get some juice out. Adjust sugar as preferred. 

Prepare your treats with a scoop of yogurt, scoop of berries and scoop of the cranachan. Repeat if you'd like the layered effect. 

sprouted kitchen strawberries

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Reader Comments (24)

ohmygoodness! we're still riding out the end of strawberry season, so this will be made immediately after picking this weekend :o) i might not be able to wait until then, though. i roasted last weekend's picks (the ones i couldn't resist eating on the way home & every time i passed by the pints...) with some cherries (inspired by you & heidi) before leaving on a business trip, and i can barely wait to get home to indulge. and cranachan? my heavens...i eat granola (agree 100% - ALWAYS with nuts for good crunch) all the time, so it's a no brainer that i need to make that pronto. you're the best, sara!

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather

Sadly, only one local farmer near where I live in Texas grows strawberries and their last picking was several weeks ago. It was indeed a sad moment, but I think I ended up buying four or five pints and indulging in as many as possible until next year. Our blueberries are in season right now so perhaps I can swap them in instead. The recipe and photos look absolutely delicious, as always.

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I've never heard of cranachan, but have no doubt I'd love it considering that I'm a big fan of everything in it. I'll definitely keep an eye out for strawberries worthy of this recipe at my next trip to the farmers' market!

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

Oh this is such a lovely idea, all of a sudden I see the point of cranachan!

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

oh man! we're going to the market this weekend (cheaper than driving an hour to pick, sadly enough) and i'm goign to LOAD UP. this is a mighty high possibility on my recipe list! also included are strawberry scones and plenty of jam :).

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

I hate to brag, but here in Australia strawberry season has just started. For some reason, which I have yet to investigate, our strawberries start in about June (winter) and run all the way through to November (end of Spring). I will definitely remember how lucky I am to have such a long season, and plenty of time to try out this delicious recipe!
Thanks for sharing.

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

CRANACHAN... I love adding new food terms to my vocabulary. Cranachan! Cranachan! Cranachan!

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBekah

Oh I love cranachan. Ate it many times in Scotland. This sounds like a wonderful variation and I love the addition of cocoa powder. Very nice!

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Beautiful pictures!!

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFull-Flavored LIfe

Calm down, lady. It's just a recipe and she has it in quotes. Did you create the original dish yourself? No? Then relax.

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I just love coming to this space. I'm always so inspired, and find myself lost in the photos.
Also, I often eat breakfast for dinner. Or dessert. It's all good. ;)

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Feel free to delete my comment now that it no longer makes sense. ;)

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

@kristen - naw, makes me feel better ;) thank you. I feel this is my happy space and i'll delete her negative juju if I want to. I had no intention of defiling Scottish tradition, thanks for seeing that.

June 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterSara

Of course. :) Love your blog. Don't let it get you down.

June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

cranachan is new to me - looks so good! Thank you.

Local strawberry season hasn't even begun yet (I live in western Canada) and now I also have this recipe to look forward to!

June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee


Another lurker. Just wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful blog. I have been following your posts for a few months now and must say I am simply in awe of your recipes, the photos, your food philosophy, the way you describe your relationship to your other half and the fact that this blog is a joint effort!

The cranachan sounds great - it very much reminds me of what my mother used to make for us sometimes when we were kids (and which I, for want of a better word, had always called "lazy granola") - basically my mother would add some oats and sugar, maybe some nuts or seeds as well, to a dry frying pan and stir on medium heat until the sugar started to melt, the whole mixture starting to clump together and the kitchen was filled with the smell of toasted oats and caramel. We used this as a topping for yoghurt parfaits or fruit salads or even ice cream. And it was only now, reading your post, that it occurred to me that my mum's quick granola was probably her twist on cranachan - shall ask her later and find out!

All the best


June 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

This is my first time hearing of cranachan, but certainly not the last! This recipe looks delicious.

Your pictures continuously blow me away. They have a nostalgic, timeless quality to them that seems to romanticise the simple goodness of food. I find myself inspired each time I visit your site!

this looks so awesome! can't wait to make it. your pictures are so pretty too..

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjenn

Yum, I could eat this for ever... I'll just substitute seasonal fruit throughout the seasons...... Keep them coming girlfriend! You have inspired me to start blogging. You just seem to have so much fun with your blog and I have to jump on this wagon..... BTW, this CSS business is hard.... ay YAY yay.... Caramba!

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlain Arango

I love your photographs. I'm sure you must hear that all the time! It's cool to see such artistic shots and the use of black and white (like with the wheat brioche buns). Congrats on your upcoming cookbook! I've got one coming out a little bit later this year, too.

Sara, I'm with you on the need for crunch! I'll have to try your version of this. As a side note, I'm loving the word "cranachan" and may have to start inserting it in random conversations...

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteraida mollenkamp

Strawberry salad seems very alluring and delicious, and I am inspired by your post!

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergreensuzan

This sounds lovely and I'm going to try it.
I am Scottish and Crannachan is actually a traditional Scottish dessert, mainly eaten on "Burns Night" after the haggis. However, it ALWAYS has whisky in it.
We mix toasted oats (although I like the idea of Granola) with honey and whisky and brown sugar and layer it in a tall glass with whipped cream and raspberries. You could also use Bourbon if you preferred. Jack Daniels springs to mind.
It is Burns night (after our bard Robert Burns) tonight, 25th January, so I will make it using the granola for a change. We call it a Burns Supper.

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNormskie

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