Sunday, August 7, 2016

So What Are You Making For Breakfast?

The weekend started off with making Chocolate Pudding for the first time. Today I made my first batch of Granola. It has been on my bucket list forever. Everyone does have a food bucket list, right?

I saw a recipe that I was going to try on the NYTimes Cooking site. The recipe I found was called Eleven Madison Park Granola. At  the restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, in Manhattan, guests are presented with a small gift: a jar of granola. The Eleven Madison Park recipe called for things like pistachios, and pumpkin seeds. This being a week in between paychecks did not allow for either item to be purchased. I happened to have walnuts and unsalted sunflower seeds. Easy substitution. Instead of dried sour cherries, I opted for dried blueberries.

I loved the results. Chris loved the results. Granola is a pricey item at the store but this was very inexpensive to make. Okay, I did have everything on hand already but I did not need pistachios or hazelnuts or Macadamia Nuts or Pepitas (I had no idea how expensive they were!). Next time I will go to a store that sells macadamia nutspistachio, pepitas, and hazelnuts in bulk. That would be more cost effective. And buying in bulk allows you to buy the amount you need and gives you the option for trying something different.
I tried some on top of vanilla yogurt. I added some fresh blueberries too. Delicious. There was a taste of sweetness and a little bit of salt. I am sold. This is something that will be in a jar on the counter on a regular basis! Chris requested this in place of his name brand Granola bars. It's just another way to try to lead a healthy lifestyle. When I was looking around for recipes I visited the site. Lots of choices there. I found lots of ideas on the 25 Healthy Snacks page. There are Snacks For Work. And Snacks For the Movies, I like the bring your own snacks section. A No Bake Pistachio Cookie! Who needs popcorn!

Don't Break the Bank Granola -

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, walnuts,  sunflower seeds and salt.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it.

Bake until dry and lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way. During the last 10 minutes add the shredded coconut. Stirring it a few times during the last 10 minutes (the coconut can burn so keep an eye on it).

Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried blueberries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 3 cups.

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