I have been spending some time with a couple of books on food–The End of Overeating:Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite and Ultra-metabolism. Although quite different in approach, both exclaim the dangers of processed food and how it’s perils have made our national obesity rate a given. Due to my frugality, we have never been big consumers of processed foods but breakfast cereal, mostly shredded wheat, O’s and raisin bran have certainly graced our table more than they should. When my youngest son lamented I hadn’t made granola in a while, I made a quality decision to give up our processed cereal fix and return to making granola for a cold snack option (not breakfast, see my American Diner post!). I found this simple recipe in my files and promptly made a batch.
4 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or thick old fashioned–don’t use quick)
1/2 cup sliced almonds ( you can vary the nuts to your liking)
3/4 cup flaked coconut (optional if you don’t like coconut)
Mix together in a large bowl.
Warm gently in a small pan on the stove:
3 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil works, too)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (for vegan option)
1 or 2 tablespoons molasses (use 2 if you like a strong molasses flavor)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
You could also use your microwave–be careful to just GENTLY warm.
Pour over oat mixture and stir to combine.
Spray a sheet pan with vegetable spray and spread the mixture evenly. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes; stir every 10 minutes for even toasting.
After toasting, you can add dried fruit to your taste: raisins, chopped dates, dried cranberries, blueberries, etc. If you pour the mixture while it is still warm into a large bowl it will clump while it cools, which some like better (my son being one of those!). Either way, this is one small step to leave processed foods behind, especially if you flake your own oats, and you will save $$, too.