Monday, October 20, 2008

Granola Munchin'

It's a beautiful fall day in Kansas City! Rumor has it that cold air will be sweeping in later this week, so I plan to enjoy it while I can. I've gotten a little bit lazy about my running lately, but today is the day I get back on track. (By "running", I mean slowly jogging. By "back on track", I mean 3 to 4 miles. Don't get too excited :-)

Yesterday, Mike and I took the boys to a fencing tournament in Des Moines... our first visit to Iowa. The fall colors were beautiful! I watched all the farmland rolling by, trees and ponds, farmhouses with big porches, and a little part of me longed to live a simpler life. Oh, I know that farm life is a LOT of work, and I'm really not sure that I have it in me!! Maybe it's just living closer to the earth that is so appealing. (Those who know me can stop laughing now!)

At any rate, it's Monday, so it's veggie day. Since I was pretty much on-the-go all weekend, I didn't get much veggie inspiration. On Saturday afternoon, I started thinking about what I could prepare that would be a healthy snack for Connor to take to the fencing tournament. Something filling, yet healthy. Whole foods. Protein. Aha! Homemade granola!

For the record, we didn't end up taking this granola with us for a snack! This recipe doesn't have any added oil, and the granola isn't chunky at all, so not the best for snacking. However, it absolutely IS the best for eating in a big bowl with some form of milk poured on top and a big spoon in your hand. This recipe was inspired by the recipe for "Nutty Sunny Granola" in John Robbins' book "May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World." Wonderful book for learning about how your diet can impact the world, and also, for the delicious recipes!

(makes about 6 cups)

3 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 C wheat bran or oat bran
1/2 C wheat germ
1 C coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1 C raisins
1/2 C coarsely chopped pitted dates or other dried fruit
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 C pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 275. In a large bowl, combine oats, bran, wheat germ, almonds and sunflower seeds; mix well. Spread mixture over a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir it up, spread it out, and bake for another 15 minutes.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add the raisins, dates and cinnamon and stir well. Drizzle in the maple syrup and stir to distribute evenly.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

(Don't plan on storing it for too long, because it definitely won't last!)

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