Maple Rum Granola

Can we talk granola today? WHY don’t we make it ourselves? It’s ridiculously easy and totally adaptable. (and if you’re looking for a last minute/budget friendly gift for the people in your life, this granola will make you a rock star. Can you say Pinterest-Mason jar win? Huzzah!). I forget how much I actually enjoy making it…until this weekend.

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I like my granola to be interesting, and by “interesting,” I mean that it should have as much stuff as I can find to throw into it. Texture is huge.

This granola has a wonderful rummy undertone…because I can’t leave well enough alone and made it boozey.

The recipe below makes a pretty big batch if you want to share it, and if not granola will last for quite some time in an airtight container. Breakfast on the run or purse snacks, anyone?

Maple Rum Granola

What you’ll need:

10 cups oats

1 ½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped (I just broke apart with my hands)

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/3 cup ground flax seed meal.

1 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)

2 cups coconut  flakes (unsweetened)

1 cup cocoa nibs

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. sea salt

1 ¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup olive oil

1/3 cup dark rum

1 splash vanilla

Dried cranberries-to your taste- I threw in a few handfuls.

What to do:

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 325.

Combine all dry ingredients except cranberries in a large bowl. Note:  Don’t have a big enough mixing bowl? A giant soup pot works really well!

Heat maple syrup, olive oil and dark rum in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a low boil for about two minutes, stirring occasionally. Then turn off heat. Let cool slightly and stir in vanilla.

Add your maple mixture to dry ingredients and toss until evenly coated.

Pour granola onto 3 lined baking sheets and bake in pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes or until granola is golden brown, taking out once to toss (so your oats don’t burn).

Allow granola to cool completely, then mix in dried cranberries and store in an airtight container. 

Happy eating!


Current Obsessions and Farmer Ben

Hi Friends!

Hope you’re having a great December! I wanted to stop in with some randomness today….

I have a lot of obsessions. Does that mean I have an addictive personality? Probably.

Here are some (mostly food related) things I’m too into right now.

1. Homemade Vanilla. I took a cue from Joy the Baker and starting making my own (the first batch was bourbon vanilla). A while back, we had picked up a bottle of fancy-schmancy bourbon vanilla at Homegoods or TJ Maxx…last night, I happened to glance at the price tag-$12 and the normal price was $17 for an 8 oz bottle! Gah! I just started a batch of Jameson Vanilla… the whole bottle of Jameson is somewhere around $25 and vanilla beans are around $1 a piece. Plus, if you get cute little bottles, these would make perfect presents for the foodie in your life (Note: there is a 6 week infusion period, so if you start a batch now, it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day!)

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Freshly bottled

2. Maple Syrup. Yes, I live in Upstate NY, so I’ve always appreciated (real) maple syrup…but lately, I have really taken the plunge. I’ve been using it as a replacement for regular sugars in recipes (like these carrot muffins) and adding it in my coffee smoothies or hot tea.

3.  Ninja Blender… Farmer Ben and I got a Ninja Blender as a Christmas/house-warming present (did I mention that we moved in November?) and I cannot tell you how much I love it. We’ve had it just over a week and I have used it almost every day. I’ve made two kinds of nut butter, pumpkin smoothies, carrot muffins… the possibilities are endless!

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Finished coconut peanut butter

4.  Healthy Skoop products. Remember when I did that review for their B-Strong protein powder? Well, I liked to so much that I decided to become a skoop retailer. Did you know that for every serving of Skoop sold, a serving of fruit and veggies is donated to a school lunch program? Pretty awesome, right? You can check out my shop here. AND, if you use the code cheers25 you can get 25% off your entire order from now until January 4.

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5.  Homemade deodorant…I sweat a lot… And a lot of natural deodorants don’t really work. But, I’m determined to find one that does. I used this recipe (is that the right word when applied to deodorant making?) I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, so I will keep you posted on the pit situation. To date, no crazy rashes or burning, and Farmer Ben doesn’t mind sitting next to me, so that’s a good sign!

Speaking of Farmer Ben, he turns 32 today! Happy birthday Darlin’, I love you!

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Ragnar ADK 2014

Your turn: What are you obsessed with (eating) lately?!