A Recent Favorite Recipe for Granola

Have you looked at the ingredients and calories in the granola you find in the grocery store? Even the selections in the healthy section are full of sugar. We are trying to limit gluten, sugar and fat, so I began looking for a low-sugar, low-fat, gluten-free granola recipe. Funny! The calories were still pretty much sky-high! I persisted and found Joy the Baker and decided to try her recipe (you will want to look…her pictures are so pretty!)  I made half a recipe first, just to try it…by now we have made the full recipe twice. My husband even made it once!

image  The ingredients

image The dry ingredients

I forgot to take a picture of the liquid ingredients, but it is basically oil (calls for coconut), honey and a nut butter.

image Mixing it up

Remember your mom making meatloaf…using her hands? Maybe you still make it this way. I really don’t like to get my hands in there, but it really works great for this mixture!

image Ready to bake

I linked to the recipe above, but here is a picture of my copy….showing some notes to our taste.

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Baking the granola requires a few times stirring for even browning. I notice a variation depending on the pan used and how deep the cereal is in that pan. This time I did a taste test to see if it is better a bit more brown. My husband preferred the lighter color.

image I think I like the darker one.

There are so many variables you can use for this recipe:
Different oils – coconut is more sweet; less is more, if you like it without clumps
Different nut butters – what does your family like? Peanut? Almond? Cashew?
More or less sweetener – Honey? Maple syrup? Brown sugar? How about some coconut?
Nuts about nuts? Try walnuts or pecans.
Want a little spice? How about some cinnamon?

Have fun with this one. Try it a different way each batch! It is filling, nutritious and better than all those you find on the shelf in the market…well, we think so! And another good thing….no preservatives!  It doesn’t last that long anyway!

Oh, why not try it for some dessert ideas too? On top of baked fruits? Or just a handful for a quick bite of energy?

Let us know how you made it and any tweaks or ideas you can share!

Spring Has Sprung

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Spring is here!

Now that spring has arrived, we have more and more opportunities to sneak beneficial activities into our day, and you don’t have to be a super-athlete. In some areas, it may seem like we are not there yet, but you can still start taking these ideas to heart.

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  • Vitamin D – This past winter many more people have been diagnosed with low levels of Vitamin D. Guess what? SUNSHINE gives off natural Vitamin D. Yes, use common sense about exposure, but remember to get a few minutes of sunlight every day.

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  • Exercise – It’s time to start moving more of your body than the fingers needed to text, press the buttons on the remote or play video games. While you take a walk around the block, you get exercise AND sunshine on a nice day. Targeting 30 minutes of movement a day, you can break that up into 10 minute segments. As you gain stamina and see how much you enjoy it, you will naturally want to increase your time.

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  • Endorphins – So, while you are getting that exercise, you are generating endorphins that actually improve your mood. OK, maybe you don’t really want to be taking a walk, but make yourself and if you persist for just a bit, you will feel the benefits and then you will want to do it more often.

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  • Buddy-system – All of us need to make these changes so grab a buddy and double the good thing; a spouse, neighbor, child, whomever. The added benefit…improved relationships as you get better acquainted and share more when not in front of the TV or some other place where you don’t talk.

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  •  Dance – We have all heard it said, “Dance like no one is watching!” It is another form of exercise and it doesn’t take a lot of it to feel better. Added benefit…the music will lift your spirits as you dance and you might just laugh or smile.

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  • Smile – Now there is a concept. Smiling is contagious and your smile can bring a smile to the next person’s face. Yes, it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown, but this isn’t about burning calories. This is about joy…and spreading it around.

So there you have it…some spring ideas to get off your duff and see some change; change in your attitude, body and overall health. What could be better? I dare you!

(Images copyright Valorie Webster)