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Sunday, May 22

Gardening Season is HERE!

Now that spring is finally here (well -- I'm questioning that as it was 47 degrees this morning) and I've cleaned up a good part of my of my to-do list; I've been spending time doing things that I love -- like gardening, a little junking -- and a little cooking as well.

Yesterday after spending the better part of the day shoveling dirt and mulch, pulling weeds, raking and planting all the plants I bought at the Library Plant Sale I made a batch of granola. I don't usually share my recipes -- but thought you would enjoy it.

I try to feed my family with as many healthy foods as I can, but when a box of cereal is $5.25 I seriously question whether I should just pick up the sugary goodness that I know they will love. Then my brain kicks in and I decide to make my own granola, and you can too because it's easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Though it has about 350 calories per serving, its also only about $5.50 per batch, and each batch is more than double what you get in a box for $5.50 -- and it has NO high fructose corn syrup or preservatives!

Here's my recipe for Maple Craisin Flax Granola:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together in a large bowl:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce - or home made like mine was
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maply syrup
  • Mix in a smaller bowl:
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shreded coconut
  • Add the above ingrediants to liquid mixture and mix together until everything is completely coated. Add 7 cups of old fashioned oatmeal and mix until the oatmeal is completely coated.

    Spread out the mixture on large jelly roll pan and put in the hot oven. If you have two pans split the mixture between the two pans and the cooking time should decrease! Set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off mix the ingrediants around on the pan -- moving the granola on the top to the bottom. Set the timer for 15 more minutes. Keep cooking and mixing until the granola is crunchy -- about an hour or so. My oven is a little off.

    Remove the granola and put it in a large clean bowl. Add to the cooked mixture 1 cup of craisins or raisins and 1/2 cup ground flax seeds and mix together completely. Let cool before storing in an air tight container. You want to make sure the granola is completely cool before storing! -- or pre-measure into 3/4 cup servings and store in small baggies for a quick and easy breakfast. That's it -- not only is it DELICIOUS but it's economical and your family will love it. For me -- I know what goes into the granola -- no TSP or other artificial ingrediants. I have a child with a lot of allergies and try to limit the amount of preservatives and chemicals he eats. TSP is often used in cereals as an emulsifier -- but it's also used as a cleaning agent. I found this paragraph about it:

    A nonsudsing powdered TSP compound formulated for heavy duty cleaning. Preferred by painting and cleaning professionals for removing heavy deposits of grime, smoke, soot, and chalked paint. Kills mildew when mixed with bleach.
    Do you really want to eat cereal with THAT in it?? ewww. Anyway, enjoy the recipe! Thanks for stopping by, now that my to-do list is pretty free I will be posting more creative projects! Enjoy your day.

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