I promised to share some of my favorite recipes with you. Since I was talking about almonds last week, I chose to share my homemade granola recipe. I get a lot of my recipes on Pinterest, but I always modify it because I like playing with my food. I think cooking is fun and the same recipe can be made in so many different ways. You should enjoy your food and you shouldn’t have to eat anything that you don’t like. Since my daughter was a baby I always had a rule. Try everything once. If you didn’t like it, then you don’t have to eat it. By trying it once, I mean one bite. I would even let her spit it out if it did not taste appealing. Now she’s 18 and she eats everything.
There are so many options out there. Try things. Love it. Hate it. That is ok. Just try to choose the most natural way the food comes in. Try playing with flavors and seasoning. It is so much fun. You’ll be surprised.
I always encourage people to buy food that does not come in a box. I do buy prepackaged food sometimes, but I try to stay away if I can. I like to buy my fruits and vegetables fresh and not canned. Frozens are ok, it’s another healthy choice. I buy beans, lentils, nuts and oats by the pound. I try to use organic as much as possible. A Lot of places now offer healthy choices like Sprouts and Clarks. I am blessed to have the Loma Linda Market where I live. I love this place.
It can be frustrating and seems to be like too much work at times to cook your own food, but it doesn't have to be. It’s a learning process. Once you learn which food you choose to buy, then there are always easy ways to make it. Keep it simple. You don’t have to be a chef to eat healthy. Stay aways from canned and processed foods. These can have preservatives, added flavors, colors, high in fat and cholesterol, and loaded with salt. It can harm our bodies leading to diabetes and hypertension. Stick to the basics. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen are good.
Now to the fun part. Let’s make this granola….I make way more than I need every time. I eat it for breakfast or just as a snack. It is fulfilling, yummy, and super healthy. It is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and proteins. Everyone loves this recipe, so I always fill mason jars and give it to people for snack. I always love sharing food. For some reason it makes me happy when I see someone enjoying what I made.
It is ok to adjust the recipe to your liking. You might want to add some extra cinnamon or skip the pumpkin seeds. There is no wrong way of making it. Enjoy!!
6 cups of old fashioned oats/rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
1 cup whole raw, unsalted almonds or pecans or both if you like (you can use whole almonds or sliced ones)
½ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
½ cup dried blueberries
½ cup dried raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
4-6 tablespoons of ground cinnamon or to taste
⅓ cups of olive oil
½ cup of pure raw maple syrup ( I use the one from costco, make sure it’s 100% pure) or you can substitute for honey. You can use more to taste
I usually keep all those nuts stocked in my freezer because I use them in so many recipes. It is good to have on hand so you don’t have to go shopping every time. Keeping them in the freezer will lock it’s freshness for a long time and keeps it from turning rancid. I also keep all the dried fruits stocked in my pantry. They can be added to anything and they have a very long shelf life.
Warm the oven to 350 degrees
Mix the oats with the olive oil
Spread the oats on a sheet pan ( I use parchment paper for easy clean up)
Bake for 20 min, make sure you turn the oats couple times so it gets toasted all over
Add the almonds, the seeds and the cinnamon
Bake for another 20 min, turning your mixture couple times so it gets toasted all over
Add the maple syrup and bake for another 5 min until the desired color, keep checking so it doesn't burn
Add the dried fruits after it’s done baking. Mix it well with the oats and let it set in the hot pan, outside the oven, until the whole mixture it cool. This will soften the dried fruits, but it does not burn them. You might have to scrap the granola off the pan if it is sticking.I store it in an airtight container after it’s completely cool.
Love it! Enjoy it! Stay healthy and try to use all natural ingredients.