Saturday, August 25, 2012

Granola Mom...

I like to think of myself as a Modern Day Granola Mom...yes to eating as healthy and organically as possible, yes to breastfeeding and making my own baby food from time to time and a big yes to making granola, treats and other snacks from scratch that would ordinarily be full of sugar and empty calories when store-bought. But I also say yes to shaving my legs, disposable diapers and allowing the kids some TV time and fast-food. I think these days we have the best of both worlds. We boast lightening speed technology at our fingertips, supermarkets available 24-hours and online if needed, and more baby and kid products than we can count. But we can also keep it as simple as we want. We don't have to expose our kids to every toy, movie, amusement park and convenience food that is available.
We can pick and choose. We still have a say in our child's childhood and I'm doing my best to show restraint in the consumer department because for every item we desire, there are hundreds to choose from...which brings me to granola. There are SOOO many varieties available out there and thanks to A Sweet Bite's in-house pastry expert, Ellen, I got my hands on one of the best I've tried! Sure, you could buy one of a million different varieties but how fresh will it be? How much added sugar is in there? Are your kids allergic to the ingredients? Let's make it easier by making it ourselves. In just about an hour, I created a healthy and delicious staple and take it from me, folks, you should absolutely double or triple the recipe!
It's sweet and savory, crunchy and tangy! I've tried a few but this one takes the cake. It was also really, really cheap to make thanks to Sprout's bulk bins. You should take advantage of those because while one ingredient (for example, the pistachios were $14.99/lb.) can be pricey, when able to buy just the small amount needed for the recipe, it cuts the cost. I know my kids will love it sprinkled over yogurt, in a trail mix, or in place of their morning cereal with milk. And mommy will enjoy it on the couch. While sitting and watching TV! Thanks, Ellen, one-day Granola Mom!



2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pistachios, hulled & coarsely chopped
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1/4 cup pepitas
1/2 cup coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened, your preference)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup dried apricots coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut flakes, maple syrup, honey, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

 *****As usual, I omitted a few ingredients based on what was available and what I knew my kids would like but this is a great recipe to play with and make your own. Also, make sure you do stir every 10 minutes as it can burn quickly. If at the end of 45 minutes, it still seems "soft", don't worry, it will get crunchy once cooled.

Got my ingredients!

                                                 I eyeballed the honey and syrup amounts...

                                                       Ready to pop in the oven!                                                                 

                                                                     And ready to eat!

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