It does not feel like January outside at all. Yesterday was 70 degrees in Atlanta, and I saw people outside in shorts when I did my weekly grocery run in the afternoon. But even though it doesn’t feel like it out there, it definitely feels like January in my kitchen. Resolutions have not been left behind yet, and we are knee-deep in green smoothies and whole-grain goodness lately. I feel like my body has finally recovered from Christmas and all of the overindulgences of the holidays.
And front-and-center here this week is some yummy homemade granola I want to share with you.
Jude has begun to like cereal. We don’t eat it often for breakfast, but he’s been snacking on it sometimes lately, and it’s one area that could use some improvement since even the most “natural” variety out there is somewhat processed and high in sugar. (And so expensive!) This works well as a homemade alternative, and I couldn’t help but snack on some in a mug with a splash of milk when this batch came out of the oven.
Granola is the perfect snacking food that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty, and while it is delicious as is, the best part is the possibilities in store with this basic recipe. There are so many add-ins to choose from and many ways to tailor the taste to what you love. If you feel sort of blah about store-bought granola, try some homemade before you give up on it. It’s not even in the same league to me. The taste of the oats toasted in your own kitchen is so much better.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts (I often use slivered almonds. Pecan pieces or walnuts are also great.)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar if you’d like)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup (no Aunt Jemima fake!)
1 tsp salt (For me, I love the sweet/salty combination, but if you are less inclined to that, you can cut the salt to about half a teaspoon instead.)
Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Mix oil, syrup, and salt and pour liquid over dry ingredients. Stir well and spread onto cookie sheet. (You want a shallow layer, so I use a large cookie pan and a smaller one, too. Just be sure it’s not a deep pile of oats or it won’t get crunchy.) Bake at 250 for about 70 minutes or so and stir it every 20 minutes as it bakes so it all gets evenly toasted. Done!
As for add-ins…. I add a few chocolate chips sometimes when I eat it with yogurt or milk. You can add raisins or any dried fruit, but be sure to do it after it bakes and cools so it won’t harden the fruit. Flax seeds or chia seeds mix in unnoticed for an extra dose of nutrition as well, even making it past a picky toddler! I store mine plain with no add-ins in a cereal storage container and leave it in the pantry so it’s accessible as an easy snack, and then I just add whatever we are in the mood for when I eat it. Enjoy!
By the way, I’ve added a recipe page to the bar at the header here so that all my recipes are more easily accessible. I don’t have many on here yet, but I hope to add to them soon. Happy Sunday! Hope it’s a good week ahead.