A PNW favorite: Granola!

1 Jul

I’m learning that here in the PNW (Pacific North West, for those that might not be aware : ) ) granola is a favorite.  Most coffee shops offer it, you can buy it in the bulk section and find it at farmers markets.  So of course I had to make some for myself.  At first I tried using this recipe from Mommie Cooks – which is a fabulous recipe, just not exactly what I wanted.  I altered it a little here and a little there and came up with the ultimate granola recipe, perfect for adding to yogurt, ice cream, having with cream, or anything else you’d like to do with it!

First, start out by putting the butter, honey, agave nectar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt & vanilla into a small sauce pan.

Stir it all together (it will mix more quickly if the butter is in smaller pieces) until the mixture is uniform.  Meanwhile, combine the oats, wheat germ, flax seed, almond slices & dried cranberries.  (Note: The old-fashioned kind work best, quick oats will work as well, I just prefer old-fashioned oats in this case.  Also, when buying flax seed meal, it can be kind of expensive.  I’ve found that I can buy whole flax seeds much cheaper in the bulk section and ground them in my coffee bean grinder!  If you don’t like cranberries, or would rather use something else, feel free!  If I have extra dried cherries, strawberries, blueberries, whatever, you can use them instead!)

So now you should have this:

Mix it all together…

After the contents of the sauce pan are melted and thoroughly combined, pour them into the bowl with the oat mixture & mix:

Now you are ready to bake!  I usually double the recipe and then separate it into three batches.  We go through a lot of this granola, so it’s handy to keep some in the freezer, take it out & bake it rather than making a batch every week!  Each batch is just over 2 cups.  I write on the bag so that 1.  I know what it is and 2. I don’t have to look at the original recipe to remember the time and temperature when I bake it.

After baking it for 14-16 minutes at 325* this is what you get!

After it’s done, I put it in a container and shake it up so it gets broken into small pieces (the best for eating with yogurt!) My husband and I go through it in about a week, although I’ve had it for about a week and a half and it was still good.  If you’d like to make extra and freeze it like I do, let it set out for about 30 minutes prior to baking.

I hope you enjoy this little bit of the PNW!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Germ
  • 1/4 Cup Flax Seed
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325*

Mix butter, honey, agave nectar, brown sugar, spices and vanilla in a small sauce pan.  Heat over low/medium heat until well combined.

In a separate bowl combine oats, wheat germ, flax seed, almonds and cranberries, and mix.

Next, pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.  Place entire batch on parchment paper and spread into a thin layer.

Bake for 14-16 minutes at 325* and enjoy!

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The Return

25 Jun

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  I originally started this blog when I was about 20 – so many things have changed since then!  At first I wanted to use it as a place to come and decompress, put my feelings down on paper (digital paper that is) and reflect on life.  Now I realize that may not be the best choice as so many people are capable of reading this and I’m not sure I want my true feelings visible for everyone to see – ya know what I mean?

 

Fast forward three years and here I am.  Some place I never thought I’d be.  I knew I’d be married eventually, but never did I imagine that I would leave everything I’ve ever known behind and follow my fabulous husband to Oregon, get two awesome pups, join the Army National Guard, and have my own little part of the interwebs where I am able to showcase (and hopefully inspire others to create) everything I do.  While I don’t plan to be an avid blogger, I am hoping to post about a project or two a week (with minimal financing, of course), give someone else the courage the make something they weren’t sure they could, and be a positive place for anyone looking to be inspired and decompress from their daily lives a space to do so.

 

I truly hope you enjoy my blog now and in the future & thanks again for stopping by!