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
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.