Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's cooking on Vera Lane

I am still trying to settle into retirement life. I am missing the structure that my teaching position demanded of me as my ADHD personality has been having a free for all.  Was it the gym first thing this morning or studio time?  Or do I bake?
I baked.
So I thought I would share the result of research and tweaking; my healthy, nutty, Janet's (Vera Lane) homemade chunky granola. 
My measurements are never exact, but this will get you there, then you tweak to make it your own.  I always add more nuts, and the liquid may be less.  Dried fruit add in is your choice, I actually prefer this with no fruit.
Since I make this all the time, all the dry ingredients are on the same pull-out pantry shelf, so it goes by quickly and I dump everything into a large stainless steel bowl.

Preheat oven to 300 (I don't know where that little degree thingy is on my keyboard) 
Spray two cookie sheets with vegetable or coconut oil.


4 heaping cups of organic whole oats ( you can use Quaker too --NOT INSTANT)
2 TBS Organic milled flax (heaping)*
1/4 C flax seed
1/2 C Raw Sunflower seeds
1/2 C Raw Pumpkin seeds
1/2 C Pecans, raw cashews or both
1/2 C Shredded Coconut
1/2 C Dried Cherries (or fruit add in of your choice)
2 - 3 turns of Sea Salt (grinder)
Combine the above ingredients and mix with large spoon

In a medium bowl combine:
1/4 C Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Honey
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1/2 C Organic extra virgin coconut oil ( if it is solid liquefy in micro on low setting)
2 egg whites
Splash of Cinnamon powder

*I like adding ground flax to anything I bake so this is an option
** I have added a tad brown sugar time to time but it's not necessary
Sometimes I'll add Chia seeds. 

Whisk the above ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix well.

Divide the mixture in half.  Spread on two cookie sheets, leaving a hole in the center of the sheet for even baking. (Granola looks like a ring around the pan)  Pack it down as you are arranging the mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes.  If your oven can only accommodate one sheet at a time, place one on a lower shelf and rotate trays at 15 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Break apart and store in air tight container.  I like to keep the granola in the fridge, it tastes much better cold.
I warn you, this is addicting.  When you need a little sweet and crunchy snack it's a healthy choice.  My husband loves this for breakfast with some vanilla rice milk. 
Once you make it play with the ingredients the next go round and experiment.  It's the egg white that makes the chunks, leave it out and it will be more cereal like.
If you buy boxed cereal you will never buy another box again.

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