Monthly Archives: March 2014

Recipe: Toasted Coconut Pecan Granola

Some people love to be in the kitchen cooking and creating. I am not one of those people. I do not enjoy cooking for the sake of cooking. I definitely do not enjoy washing dishes and cleaning up the mess. I prepare food because I need to eat.

When I was single, one of my “classic” meals was a plain Boca burger patty, a can of green beans, and carrot sticks. When I got married, I quickly learned that my simple tastes were just that: mine. Some people need more flavor profiles and more variety. So, over the past few years, I have made more of an effort to actually attempt “real” meals even if they remain on the less complex side of the spectrum.

This week I decided to try to make granola. Sure, I could go buy breakfast cereal; but I don’t for two reasons: 1) Cereal costs more than I want to pay; 2) I don’t really know what the ingredients are. Instead of buying another box of organic granola, I resolved to make my own.

Many of the granola recipes I looked at had ingredients I don’t have on hand: wheat germ, bran flakes, lecithin, dried cherries… So, I decided to try to make a granola based on what I did have in my cabinets. I must say, I’m pretty pleased with the result. (Mr. Honey is not as excited about my recipe as I am, but he’s not really a breakfast person anyway.) I call it…

 

Toasted Coconut Pecan Granola

4 c rolled oats
2 c sweetened, shredded coconut
2 c chopped pecans
1/4 c golden flax seeds
1 dash salt

1/2 c coconut oil (melted)
1/3 c honey
2 t vanilla extract

Turn oven on and set at 350. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and toss until everything is evenly coated. Pour onto a baking sheet/bar pan and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then stir. Bake another 10 minutes and stir. Bake 5 more minutes and pull out of the oven. Allow granola to cool and then store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Profile (thanks to SparkPeople’s Recipe Calculator)
Serving size: 1/2 cup

Calories: 303
Fat: 22 g
Sodium: 33.7 mg
Potassium: 94.6 mg
Total Carbs: 25.8 g
Fiber: 3.8 g
Sugar: 6.9 g
Protein: 4.2 g

 

A few notes…I use organic ingredients for the most part. And, I learned today, don’t let the granola go more than 25 minutes in the oven. If you do, it goes from toasted to roasted really, really fast. Finally, no matter how good it tastes, it is important to limit the amount you eat. Granola is a calorie-rich food. For me, a half cup of cereal with some almond or soy milk and fresh fruit makes a hearty meal.

Advertisements

Laughing at the Impossible

Little Bear’s Bible lesson for class at church is about Abraham and Sarah. Well, it especially focuses on Sarah. In very simple language it tells the story of how Sarah wanted a baby and was so sad she couldn’t conceive. One day Abraham met three travelers and invited them home for a meal. In the course of their discussion, one of the visitors said he’d be back in a year and Sarah would have a baby. Sarah laughed. She had overheard the conversation, and she laughed.

It struck me as I was reading the story to Little Bear that I could completely relate to Sarah. I had always identified more with Hannah. She did not have a child of her own and she was heartsick–depressed, even. But she continued to pray and ask God for a child. Sarah, on the other hand, apparently had given up hope as the years passed. She was heartbroken but resigned.

From my earliest memories of playing “house,” I always wanted to be a mommy. I had hoped that dream would come true after I got married. But as each month passed and as one year led into another, my dream began to fade and my hope began to falter. Like Hannah, I would tearfully pour out my heart to God. Why couldn’t I have a baby? Finally, after having visited with specialists and trying all kinds of interventions over the course of a few years, I gave up.

Shortly after accepting the fact that I would likely not have a child, I found out I was pregnant. Impossible! Yet, it was true. I was designated AMA (advanced maternal age), but I was pregnant. There were complications along the way, but I was pregnant. I. Was. Pregnant.

When Sarah found out she was with child, I can imagine her wonder. After all that time and despite her age, God gave her a son. Sarah had sarcastically laughed at the idea of her pregnancy. She laughed again when she realized the promise of the Lord had been fulfilled.  Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.'” Genesis 21:6

God healed Sarah’s broken heart and filled her empty arms. He did the same for Hannah. He did the same for me. And like Sarah, I laughed.

He will fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with happy shouting.
Job 8:21

I’ve Been Chosen!

A few weeks back I found out about an opportunity to be part of a healthy baby/child program for Seventh Generation. Deemed a “home party,” the idea is to share information and product samples with a few friends and to learn more about cleaning and body care options. Having a new baby in the house, I thought it would be a great opportunity to be able to try out some new things. But also having a new baby in the house means no “home party” in the traditional sense. However, I can definitely have a small gathering and also pass out samples, products, and info packets to other friends, so I thought, “why not?” and applied. Much to my surprise, I was notified last week that I was selected!

This weekend a BIG box was delivered, and it was full of goodies from Seventh Generation, Zarbees, and Happy Family Organic Superfoods. There are lots of brochures about toxins in household and hygiene products people use every day: parabens, pthalates, dyes, fragrances, BPA, PFOA, PVC, and more. There are coupons for more natural alternatives, and there are websites for more information: www.healthybabyhomeparty.com, www.healthychild.org and www.fighttoxins.com/healthybaby. The websites contain articles to read, videos to watch, and even a petition to sign asking Congress to hold companies responsible for the safety of the ingredients they use.

I am excited about trying out the samples and learning more about what I can do to create a better, more healthful home environment for Little Bear. What do you do to make your home more healthful for your family?