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.
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.
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
-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.