Foodie Friday: Let’s Make Granola!

Okay, so let me give you a little back story to this recipe. Changes in diet, healthy eating, yada-yada-yada, lots of Greek yogurt for my breakfast.

Lots.

And, yes it is tasty and healthy and lots of flavors and blah-blah-blah, but sometimes a girl gets really tired of it and wants something DIFFERENT! Sorry. But really; healthy diets can sometimes really get on your nerves when you just want something fun.

I added raw almonds to my yogurt, and they’re good, but, like I said? Boring.

I found some granola in the back of the cupboard–score!–and tried that. It was good. And gone. It was just a little bit in a jar that time forgot (I know you know what I’m talking about). But when I went to the store to buy more, I was discouraged. I read the labels–as in the nutrition labels and the price labels.

And both of them had just too much. Too many ingredients, carbs, icky fats, fillers and basically just stuff I didn’t want in my daily fun and DIFFERENT! food. But how hard could it be? I can totally make granola, right?

Turns out I can. I pored through the piles (literally) of cookbooks in my kitchen, the swaths of clipped recipes (some of which are healthy) from magazines and referred to the interwebs and put together an easy recipe out of (the best part) stuff I had in the cupboard already. (The pecans I used are thanks to my friend Heather, co-admin here, who gifted me with a sack of nuts that have been languishing in the freezer and were the other reason why I decided to make granola. Turns out her husband works at the place where they gather said nuts. Networking! It matters.)

I’ve made a few batches, tweaking them each time, and they’ve all been quite edible. As I type this at my kitchen table, I can smell the vanilla and cinnamon in this batch swirling into a totally yummy concoction that I will smile like a fool as I eat it in the morning.

photo 4-1Homemade trail mix (kept in a re-purposed yogurt container for the win!)

The best part is that it’s cheap. You add or don’t add what you want or don’t want, so be picky. And it’s adaptable. I sprinkled it on pancakes with strawberries. Used it as an ice cream topping. Made trail mix by adding dried fruit and dark chocolate chips (pictured above).

Oh yeah–I’ve even stirred it into my Greek yogurt at breakfast.

DIY Granola

photo 11 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 c raw pecans (chopped)
3/4 c raw almonds (also chopped)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (it’s October! Pumpkin pie everything!)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 and cover a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone baking sheet or something like that so it’s easy to clean up and looks pretty if you take pictures. Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. Bake it for about 10 minutes, then stir it around and bake it for another 10. Watch it on these last 10 because it may get very brown (fine; burned) if you aren’t careful.

 granola before and after
Before (left) and after (right) baking and making my house smell divine.

I have no idea how long this will keep; I do know that I made a batch twice this size over the summer that I kept it in my freezer to use as needed (it thaws super fast), and it lasted me a good 3 months. But use your judgement, mmmmkay?

Thanks to Mari Farthing for sharing this recipe.

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