Sunday, November 16, 2008

Granola recipe, 35 week belly, and a tiny ponytail

Here is my belly at 35 weeks.

It's getting hard to breath, and my legs are sore from all of the hormone changes that loosen ligaments and such.  All kinds of fun that make up the late stages of pregnancy.

This week I started putting Daisy's hair in a ponytail.

I can't get over how ridiculously cute she looks with the little sprout of hair.

My mom has been asking me for my granola recipe for a while now, and I finally typed it all out.  Over the past few years I've played around with different recipes, especially the one from Moosewood New Classics cookbook, and have come up with a little bit of a modified version that suits me best.  Granola is a filling and nutritious way to start the day.  I does contain a fair amount of fat, but it's mostly good fat.  Plus, a little goes a long way.  It really does fill you up very well.

Maple Nut Granola

Preheat oven to 350.

4 1/2 cups rolled oats (I use Old Fashioned Quaker Oats -- DO NOT use the quick cooking stuff)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup nuts (Greg likes Almonds, I especially like Pecans, Walnuts and Hazlenuts -- feel free to mix and match whatever you have)
2 cups plain, puffed cereal (I use Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs, but you can make your own mixture at the health food store, or whatever you want -- you could probably even use Rice Krispies, but I prefer whole grains personally.)
1/3 cup vegetable or light/reg olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T barley malt, molasses, or brown sugar (they each give their own subtle flavors, so experiment for the one you like best -- or use whatever you have on hand)

Place all dry ingredients in a great big bowl and mix well. 

Put all the wet ingredients together (oil, maple syrup, and barley malt or other) in a separate small bowl, and stir very well until thick and completely combined.

Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until completely coated.  Lightly grease a sided cookie sheet/jelly-roll pan, and spread granola mixture evenly.  Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden and fragrant.  (If you want, you can stir half-way through so that the browning will be even, but I like to just let it brown on top so that you get the extra toasty flavor, and still have somewhat raw grains throughout the rest for maximum health benefits.)

Remove from oven and put pan on top of cooling rack.  Stir.  Continue to stir every so often until cooled.

Add raisins or other dried fruit if you wish to the completely cooled granola, and eat! 

Variations are endless.  Substitute or add more/different kinds of raw seeds, vary up the fruit, add unsweetened or sweet flaked coconut, chopped dark chocolate or tiny chocolate chips.  Whatever sounds good probably is.  If you have a great variation idea, I'd love to hear it, so tell me all about it in the comments.
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