Monday, October 3, 2011

Healthy Homemade Granola

Lets not talk about my blogging hiatus, lets just pick up where we left off and carry on shall we? Seriously Im sure all 3 of you (hi mom!) were wondering where I went right? Anyway, lately I've had a lot of friends ask me how I do it. How I am managing dinner from scratch, keeping the house in order, and still stay sane with three kids? Truth is I can't always cook from scratch, my house gets to be a mess more often than I would like to admit, and my sanity is questioned daily (by myself and others). I break down, I have bad days (sometimes really bad days) but I also have good days and Im happy to be at a point in my life where the good days are much more common. I have learned that my good days usually coincide with having a full refrigerator, and a meal plan for the week. I wish I was more of a free spirit but Im not. I need order and a routine.

So when it comes to cooking Im the type of person that can't put a meal together without a recipe and it cant be a "season to taste" recipe. I need measurements. Every once in a while I get all "Iron Chefy" and think I can stray from a recipe and put my own spin on it. It never ends well, and I usually end up calling the husband and hysterically informing him to pick something up. I hate doing this. So now I stick to the plan! I keep it simple. My criteria for meals are tasty, healthy and using quality fresh ingredients. I try to make as much from scratch as I can both  for health and budget reasons. If Im being honest its also so I never have to leave the house and go to the grocery store with the kids. This brings me to the granola. I figured I would share some of the recipes that work for me and that the family enjoys. Homemade granola is one of those things that are super easy to make and you end up with a big batch that everyone can snack on. We love it over vanilla yogurt or just grabbing a handful and shoving it in our face. I loved this Ellie Krieger recipe since it didn't use any oil or sugar and you don't have to cook the syrup for it separately. One less pot to wash makes it a winner! Loved it!

  • Cooking Spray
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw, unsalted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted pecans
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (use the good stuff)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (i used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional (I used cranberry's)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl combine the oats, nuts, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and the raisins, if using. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

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