Saturday, January 10, 2009

Homemade Granola

I hate it when they say you lose more weight if you eat breakfast because I am not a big breakfast eater. In the mornings I usually am not hungry for anything other than coffee (and sometimes treating myself with added soymilk). BUT - about a year ago, I caved and started buying the amazing Luna bars to keep in my desk at work. Eating one of these tasty treats at about 10:00 am each day really helped! I didn't get so hungry that I overate at lunch. I was really proud of my new routine that helped me stay on track. But at about $1 to $1.50 per bar, it started to get cost prohibitive to eat the Lunas every day.

So I discovered homemade granola.

There are lots of reasons to make your own's better for you, it's cheaper, it tastes better, and there's less packaging and waste.

I first made homemade granola from an Emeril recipe and turned it into granola bars - because I wanted a close substitute for the Lunas. But this recipe had corn syrup, peanut butter, and other ingredients I really didn't want in my granola. And it was a pain pressing the mixture into the pan, cutting, and wrapping the granola bars.

Then I found Nigella's chocolate peanut granola. Wow, it was the best granola I'd ever had. Served over greek yogurt with some fresh raspberries from my backyard...heaven.

Now, when I want granola, I just throw oats and whatever else I have on hand onto a pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

I cleaned out all the nuts and seeds in my freezer to make this batch -it includes raw peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, whole almonds, walnuts, cocoa powder, honey, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Even when I don't have yogurt in the fridge (like today), it's a protein packed breakfast that's portable and tasty all on its own. Stored in mason jars (less waste) it keeps for quite awhile (not that it's ever lasted long enough to determine a shelf life).

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