Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sticking to resolutions with some healthy granola.

My New Year’s resolutions have come and gone. I know, it’s shocking how quickly I can fail. I’m not sure about you, but my list was a hefty one this year. I’m telling you, I was totally motivated writing that list while I was sitting on the sofa watching netflix and eating maple cashew brittle. I wanted to make things happen! The new year was going to be the best one yet! Then the new year arrived and I was still sitting on the sofa watching netflix, but this time I was eating my leftover deer jerky from my brother, Randy. I’m not completely blaming myself,  don’t worry. I’m partly blaming the Polar Vortex for my unmotivated self. It’s hard to get up and go when your home is so wonderfully cozy, filled with TV, books, old records, internet and a rad husband. In order to go outside you need layers, layers, and more layers. And that's just to take out the trash. It's so cold that when you throw a pot of boiling water into the air it turns to snow and ice. Oh, Minnesota. Sometimes you make living hard.

One resolution that we actually are trying to keep in this house is the “eating better” one. We both plan on living to be well in to our hundreds, which means I need to stop baking us cakes and cookies and start preparing some healthier options in the kitchen. Which leads us to this granola. I love granola, but have you ever looked at how much sugar and fat is in that tiny little bag?! It’s outrageous! This recipe I’m giving you for granola has no refined sugar, oil, or butter. Instead, it’s full of healthy seeds and nuts. Woo! It has a little less of a sweet taste, but it’s seriously good. I’m pretty confident when I say it’s our favorite granola. Ever. 

Healthy Granola

Adapted from The Earthbound Cook

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups chopped almonds
½ cup ground flaxseed (fiber!)
½ cup white sesame seeds
1 ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 12-ounce can apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup molasses
¼ cup honey
1 ½ cups golden raisins (or raisins or craisins)

Please put two racks towards the center of your oven. You’ll fill two pans with this recipe so you will have to bake them at the same time. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 

Put the oats, coconut, sunflowers seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and ground cinnamon in a very large bowl and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the apple juice, molasses, and honey. Whisk them until the molasses and honey dissolve. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until the oats are coated.

Divide the granola between two rimmed baking sheets, spreading it out on the sheets. Bake granola until it is brown, dry, and fragrant, about 35-45 minutes. TIP: while baking, switch the positions of the baking sheets several times. Also, stir the granola each time you do that. Otherwise it will burn, or some will be undercooked. Watch it carefully the last ten minutes. Trust me on this one, buddy. 

After you take out the pans, stir in the raisins while the granola is still hot. Then let it cool completely on the baking sheets. Stir a few times while it’s sitting on the pans cooling. This granola will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 weeks! You can also freeze it up to 6 months. 

This tastes excellent with yogurt. Just saying.