As I recently filled you in, I’m on a mission right now to keep The Hubs feeling full while watching his race weight as we continue the countdown to Boston. This task is far more difficult than one might expect; on one hand he is the most relentlessly driven, self-disciplined person I’ve ever met, yet on the other- as soon as it’s territory he doesn’t have to dominate (read: any and all of the choices on the food he consumes)- he very willingly relinquishes all control. Don’t read into this as a complaint, I take great pride in the fact that such a capable, intelligent person would entrust his diet to me fully. It does mean that I have a very important job.
It also mean that my phone features a constant feed of questions about what he can and cant eat. Which is pretty adorable:
In order to keep Mr. Adorable away from the donuts on the road to Boston, I try to send a variety of tasty, wholesome snacks along each day to help keep him feeling satisfied. Granola is the absolute easiest option since it can be consumed a variety of ways- dry as trail mix, sprinkled over yogurt or cottage cheese, layered over sliced bananas and fruit, or in a bowl with alt-milk and a spoon.
For me, granola is one of those foods it makes me sick to think of purchasing because the store bought versions are A) infuriatingly expensive in comparison to their raw ingredients and prep effort level, B) normally contain lots of unnecessary salt and refined sugar, and C) are always lacking just a little something that would make it exactly what you wanted… but that you could easily make at home in the perfect, custom manner.
Chances are, you have the basic raw ingredients hanging out in your pantry just waiting to be used. See what I mean:
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- 1/2-3/4 cup nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4-1/2 cup seeds
- 1/3 cup dried fruit (coarsely chopped if using apples or apricots)
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt or kelp flakes
- 4-6 tbs of honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbs of coconut oil
From there you can get fancy with a pinch of this or a dash of that, but in the end it’s really all the same. It ends up being a great way to use up odds and ends in the pantry- which is far more eco-friendly and budget conscious than buying store bought.
Granola making (and consuming) rarely looks the same way twice in this household, but I do have a favorite framework I like to work around that includes lots of fabulous seeds and other little nuggets of scrumptious goodness. Give it a go in your kitchen, but don’t be afraid to change it up to your liking. And- MOST IMPORTANTLY- don’t turn it into something that necessitates a trip to the grocery store… use up what you’ve got in that pantry.
Unless, of course, you aren’t yet someone who stocks oats, seeds, and grade B maple syrup. In that case, get thee to the market PRONTO!
Homemade Oat and Seed Granola
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- generous 1/2 cup raw almond, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 2 tbs salba
- 2 tbs black chia seeds
- 2 tbs quinoa (raw)
- 2 tbs golden flax seeds
- 2 tbs shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 tsp kelp flakes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbs grade B maple syrup
- 2 tsp local honey
- 2 tbs coconut oil, melted
- slash of vanilla extract
- splash of almond extract
- generous pinch of sea salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and, using a silicone spatula, toss well to incorporate. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, toss, and return to bake for 10-15 minutes more.
Allow to cool completely on baking pan before serving of storing.
*Frequency of tossing during cooking as well as length of cooling time will affect the size of your granola clusters. If you like chunkier granola, toss less and allow to cool completely undisturbed.
Will keep in airtight container for about 2 weeks in fridge.