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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Easy Recipe for Granola

After months and months of oatmeal for breakfast, we're ready for a change.

So we made up a batch of kid-friendly granola. It is cheaper than the premade granola and it also tastes much better. And though I haven't done any official research, I'm pretty sure that it's about a billion times healthier than most boxed breakfast cereals.

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It's based on a recipe which calls for whole nuts. Frankly, I think the roasted nuts are the best part of the recipe, but Joey… not so much. Despite the fact that they are full of fats that are actually good for your heart and all kinds of other nutritiousness, she won’t touch 'em.

She isn't allergic. She just doesn’t like them.

So I grind them up, because dang-it, she needs the protein. And it isn’t like I’m trying to sneak them past her; she’s right there helping me. She’s just learning that sometimes when you don’t like to eat something it has more to do with the texture than the actual flavor, which is definitely the case with her.

Personally, I like this best with a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey. The kids prefer it swimming in milk with a handful of frozen berries.

The Ingredients
2 cups of your favorite nuts or seeds (a combination of walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds is especially good)
3 cups rolled oats (not the instant kind)
1/2 cup dried fruit (I like dried cranberries or raisins)
2/3 cup of maple syrup (you can cut it back to 1/2 cup if you prefer)
1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

How To
-Preheat the oven to 325.
-If you don't want whole nuts, put them in a food processor and pulse til they form a course meal, but not til they form a paste.
-Mix the nuts, dried oats and the fruit in a large bowl.
-In a 2 cup capacity measuring cup, mix together the syrup, vegetable oil, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated.
-Spread on a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally.
-Let cool and store in the fridge. (I use mason jars.)

Once you've tweaked the recipe to your liking, I would suggest doubling it (and spreading it between two baking sheets) because it can go fast. We usually eat it for breakfast, but it also makes a great afternoon snack.

13 comments:

Jennifer and Steve said...

This looks great! Thanks for sharing. :)

capperoo said...

Yum! We'll be trying this one for sure! Thanks for the recipe.

Wander to the Wayside said...

I used to make this when you kids were kids, and off and on over the years for something different and healthier, whether as a snack or breakfast. I used the same recipe, with chopped walnuts and raisins, cinnamon and flax seed, and also liked to chop up dates so Melody thought they were raisins. Oh, and some shredded coconut and wheat germ. Yummy! I may go make some now!

heather jane said...

Good idea to grind the nuts up. I'm with you. My little is with your little.

Have you read Jamie Oliver's latest cook book? Or seen it I should say? It's not about granola. It's about his garden and it's gorgeous. I just posted a review. I think you'd love this book.

Wendy said...

Wander to the Wayside, oh good idea about the flax seed. I'm not sure why I haven't been including that. I have some ground up in my freezer right now.

Heather Jane, I'll have to check that out from the library soon.

RunninL8 said...

I'm coo coo for granola! Thanks for your version!

Melanie said...

I made this 2 days ago and it's delicious!! My friend (I'm a sharer) ate hers over some fresh strawberries with vanilla yogurt and liked it too. My son was not a fan of the sunflower seeds but you can't please everybody...

Stacy (mama-om) said...

We're getting tired of oatmeal, too. :)

Thanks for the recipe!

BTW, I found you via GrowingNaturally... and your blog is FUNNY! Nice to meet you.

-Stacy

Kristina said...

That is a delicious-looking picture. I love the kiss of honey on top.

Kristina
Sweetfern Handmade

Our family said...

We tried this a few days ago and everyone loves it! We used pecans and almonds and no seeds and cranberries for the fruit....I can definitely see that I need to make it two batches at a time from now on.

Tashia @ TheHouseholdPlanner said...

This sounds great! Can you suggest an alternative to the maple syrup? Would honey work?

Wendy said...

Tashia, yep I know plenty of people who use honey. Personally, I don't really use honey where it will cook because the Ayurvedic system of medicine believes that cooked honey is toxic to the system.

renee @ FIMBY said...

This looks tasty. But I better check with my personal nutritionist before attempting to make anything so delicious looking myself (tee, hee...- love your disclaimer!).

Thanks for visiting FIMBY. I'll be back here.