Crunchy Lovin’Posted: February 27, 2012
Good morning, good morning!
Okay…I know it’s actually the afternoon, but it’s fine. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling pretty fly today. Also, why does no one say “fly” anymore?. Speaking of flying, where has the last week gone? And why am I so crazy busy?!
Anyway, the reasons I am feeling great? I dragged my butt outta bed at 5:30 am and went for a quick run with a friend-Shout-out to Tara!!!
Did I mention that it was 12 degrees out? Yeah, it felt good. But, a nice hot shower felt even better.
And better still, thanks to my amazing hubs, I headed to work with iced coffee in hand (there is currently a half gallon of it in my fridge. Life is good). I also scarfed down some homemade granola and NY yogurt for breakfast. Yummo! I even managed to pack a delicious lunch. And got to work on time..on a Monday.
Top o’ the world, kiddos!
Anyway, this granola is super easy to make. And it is full of stuff you can buy in bulk. The other good thing? There is no set way to make it, merely guidelines-so mix it up. Also, don’t judge on the surprise ingredient. Just go with it. What can I say? I’m a woman obsessed.
Side Note: This would make an awesome gift for your friends, put it in a cute little bag, with some nice coffee or tea? Perfect. It would also be a perfect brunch item. Paired with a Mimosa…or a spicy Bloody Mary if you’re like me.
Adapted from several recipes
*Makes about 12 generous 3/4 cup servings-582 calories- full of good fats, fiber, potassium, protein, vitamins A, C and iron!) Translation: This stuff will put some pep in your step and keep you fuller loooonger! *
What I used:
5 cups oats (I used steel cut but rolled will also do)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
4 tbsp. sesame seeds-I used white and black
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flax seed meal
A pinch of sea salt
1 to 2 tsp. Smokey Paprika (Just trust me on this.)
1/2 cup olive oil (you could use a different oil, this is just what I had on hand)
1-4 to 1/2 cup agave nectar (or Honey)
1/3 cup dried apple rings, chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
What to do:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine your dry ingredients (except the fruit!) into a large bowl and mix until combined.
Heat oil and agave nectar in a saucepan over low heat-you don’t have to heat it up, but I found it made the nectar a lot easier to work with and thins the mixture out. Pour over the dry ingredients and toss until evenly coated.
Spread granola evenly into two rimmed (and lightly greased) baking sheets.
Bake for about 30 minutes until oats are golden brown, pulling both pans out and stirring mixture up occasionally to avoid burning.
Let cool and mix in your dried fruit. Store in a tightly sealed container. Serve by itself, or with yogurt or milk.
Note: I am not a huge fan of super fruity/sweet granola, so I started with 1/4 cup agave nectar and gradually added more. I ended up adding 2 tbsp. of honey after taking it out of the oven, mostly for the hubs. I also didn’t add a ton of dried fruit. This made the granola more savory, so adjust this measurement according to your taste. Next time I’ll probably add some pumpkin/sunflower seeds. Again, this is just a guideline, use your imagination with your ingredients. And trust me on the smokey paprika-AMAZING!
Stay tuned for… another post coming soon!!!