Starting Fresh

WordPress is sporting a plethora of New Year’s Posts. They range from why it’s a bad idea to establish resolutions to the very most resolved. There’s advice on how to create a new habit and helpful tips to eliminate the bad ones. And I am no different. There are things that I’d love to start doing, some things that I should stop, and real change that I’d like to see occur in 2012.

Starting Fresh with Homemade Granola

Much of the hoopla fades quickly. By week three my jam-packed gym will have dwindled to typical attendance levels. Vast amounts of consumers will be tossing out spoiled wheatgrass and putting their new juicers on the pantry shelf. Then every time they see that shelf, they’ll remember the resolution that never was or their failed attempt to create a new lifestyle.

I’ve read much on the topics of change and goal setting and my take is that inventing our lives is a process and we need to view it as that. So here I sit on January 2nd weighing a half pound more than I did on January 1st but what an amazing hike we had and what a great time meeting new friends last night. Now, I’m greeting this new day as another fresh opportunity to work towards overall betterment in spirituality, health, family and leadership.

One thing that I see us doing in 2012 is spending more time in the kitchen. That doesn’t necessarily mean more time eating but it does mean more time preparing fresh foods and cooking together. In my model, that hits all four categories that I’m working on. My boys learn to cook healthy foods. We spend more time together. Hopefully we can share things here that others will try and enjoy. Each day greets us with a new opportunity so on days when we don’t cook, we’ll move on and welcome the next chance.

This morning we embraced the idea of a fresh start and rolled out a batch of homemade granola. We’ve been fortunate to have Sally, chef to the stars in our home this last week and she was kind enough to share her recipe.┬áMy youngest son marveled at the simplicity of the process.

Simple, Fun and a Life-skill

Starting Fresh Granola

Serves eight
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil (almond or canola oil will also work)
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5 cups of rolled oats (not the quick cooking type)
  • 1 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 325. Spray 2 baking sheets with no-stick spray. Stir together the apple juice concentrate, maple syrup, sunflower oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon and the salt. In a separate bowl mix the rolled oats, toasted wheat germ, almonds and sunflower seeds. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Spread the mixture out on the two baking sheets. Bake on two separate racks in the oven. After 15 minutes, stir the mixture and change the pans to the opposite rack (top to bottom, etc). Bake 15 more minutes and then remove. Add the dried fruit and cool. Enjoy a fresh start!

Toasting Wheat Germ since ours was Raw

Ready for the Oven

Granola

Yum!

Leave a comment

71 Comments

  1. I’m the same (just having launched a new year’s post ;) ), but I think there’s nothing bad about it. Humans need traditions and routines to be (mentally) healthy, and reflecting on the past year and preparing and making plans for the new year isn’t a bad thing. Okay, most new year’s resolutions don’t survive the January, but that’s probably because they don’t come for the heart, but are extrinsically motivated – something that “should” be done but isn’t wanted to be done. With your wish for more kitchen time, this seems different – it’s something that is really important to you, but may have come too short in the past year, due to other obligations being there. A resolution like that means to focus more on what you *actually* want, with your heart, and to make a promise to yourself not to let these important things be swept aside by the course of life in the time to come. It is also a resolution of the probably resilient and successful kind.

    I should make granola for my dad. He’s on a gluten-free diet and misses his cereals. ;)

    Happy new year to you, Tammy!

    Reply
    • I don’t think this particular granola is gluten-free because of the oats and the wheatgerm but I don’t know. I love that you think my resolution is probably resilient and successful.

      Reply
  2. Like you, i don’t really ‘resolve’… but take the start of the year to have a quick look back, and plot some small steps toward better living… love this recipe! as backpacking looms in my adventures ahead, i might get enterprising and make up a batch!

    Reply
  3. I adore, adore, adore homemade granola, and really should start making it regularly rather than sporadically so that I can also stop buying Cheerios “for the calcium in them” :P I’ve never been one for resolutions either; I simply want to continue trying to built a life of contentment and gloriousness as much as possible :)

    Reply
    • Did you post about it once? I’m trying to remember who my inspiration was – maybe you.

      Reply
  4. Magic post and gorgeous pics, especially of your son, Tammy! Love your light-filled kitchen too :-) I’ve been meaning to make home-made granola for at least a year, so thanks for the nudge to get onto it!

    Reply
    • It’s very easy and fun to have on hand. The nutrients are so dense that a little keeps you full for a long time.

      Reply
  5. oh yum indeed! May what ever finds you this year, be awesome and amazing :)

    Reply
  6. Hello, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Congratulations! Check my page for nomination.

    Versatile Blogger Award

    Reply
    • Thank you so much. It may take me a while to get around to it but I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

      Reply
  7. Can i see raspberries in the mix? Are they fresh or dried?

    Reply
    • I used dried cranberries and then another dried mixed berries. I don’t think there are raspberries but they’d be great.

      Reply
  8. Hi Tammy, thanks for visiting my blog… I used to make fresh muesli (without all the sweet stuff, *Grin*) …it seems cheaper and easier to buy it now days, however my daughter Jess says your granola looks yummy and she has just added making it to my to do list! *Sigh* I shall blame this healthy endeavour all on you! *Grin* Thanks so much!

    Reply
  9. My stomach overrules my intellect at every stage, Tammy and all clever conversation has fled my mind. The only comment – albeit a positive one- is Yumyumyumyumyumyumyum.

    Time to get into the kitchen! Thanks for another wonderful suggestion!

    Reply
  10. i would think that granola is best when it’s fresh.
    and there is nothing more wonderful than people of any age learning how to cook real food.

    Reply
  11. Tammy, Happy New Year to you. I so admire your attitude and approach to it all – I especially resonate with the thought that we are all inventing our lives as we move through it. I will look forward to the inspiration and good, thoughtful food ideas you write so wonderfully about here in your blog.

    Reply
    • Thanks Bradley. As you’re aware, I really admire your writing so am extra privileged to hold this compliment.

      Reply
  12. Absolutely fantastic looking granola!

    I use New Year’s to not really establish resolutions…but re-focus on my goals for life. This year…moving out!!

    Reply
  13. Homemade granola is awesome. Thanks for including the recipe.

    Reply
  14. Wow, the granola looks really good!

    Reply
  15. Hmmm, I can practically smell that granola toasting in the oven!
    Your kitchen goals are spot-on, and achievable. Goal-making is critical–but sometimes we make them too lofty, or we set too many of them, and we become disillusioned when things “don’t work.”

    you are right; It’s an ongoing, continous process, this life. it does help to take these pauses to reflect where we’ve been, and consider what would be fresh, and uplifting going forward.

    Happy 2012! Keep me posted, if a Tennessee trip works out. Nancy

    Reply
  16. Something tasty, nourishing and homemade — sounds like the perfect treat for the New Year. Homemade granola is THE best. You can add all your favorite things and leave out anything you’re not fond of. Happy 2012!

    Reply
  17. Tammy, you are one of the people who keeps me nudged and encouraged.

    I’m going through a thyroid thing and working on getting the meds right. My appetite has gone and I hardly notice I’m hungry. Thank goodness when it hits like falling bricks, I love munching on raw veggies and fruit, though I don’t do them together.

    In other words, I’m all in a tangle with alkaline eating, timing of meds and appetite levels. I exercise, but the weight just hangs on and on and…

    Reply
    • Oh Amy! Nature is not kind in middle age. Have you eliminated dairy? alcohol? red meat? sugar? gluten? When I am having issues like you are speaking of, eliminating foods works best.

      Reply
  18. I’ve been considering making my own granola and this looks wonderful. I probably won’t add the dried fruit because I like to put my granola in plain yoghurt with fresh fruit in it. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  19. You know Tammy, I have to discuss this. Although the problem is not serious but I can see spots of cellulite in my thighs. I have thrown all the sugar in the house and completely stopped eating bread. I will eat healthy from now on and yes will spend some more time in the kkitchen prepping fresh things to eat. It was alarming. I will lose at least 5 pounds this month.

    Reply
    • Well, this recipe sweetens with maple syrup and apple juice and I recommend that you try those things in addition to dates. It is a good time of year to set your sites on a goal.

      Reply
  20. Homemade granola is the best and the options are endless. Glad you will be spending more time in the kitchen this year, have fun!!

    Reply
  21. Unless the granola is made with gluten-free oats and gluten containing things are also left out of it and gluten-free brown rice or rice is added in place granola is not gluten free. Terry has been gluten-free for four years now, after finally be diagnosed with Celiac’s disease at the age of 63. It took me forever to figure out how to good, but I’ve made it.

    Thanks for your recipes, I enjoy making them or adapting them to our lifestyle.

    Linda

    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

    Reply
  22. Love homemade granola! And what a great set of resolutions! Happy New Year to you and your family – here’s to a happy, healthy 2012!

    Reply
    • Thanks Camille. And I’m super excited about your new big project! It will be great fun to watch.

      Reply
  23. This reminds me… I had planned to try making homemade granola bars (especially after I accidentally bought a large bag of oat groats instead of oatmeal)! And if it makes you feel any better, I woke up more than 1/2 lb heavier on Jan 2 :(

    Reply
  24. I think this is a great idea. When you spend time learning to enjoy the cooking process it’s almost impossible not to enjoy your food more as well. Good luck with your 2012 cooking adventures, I’m looking forward to hearing all about them!

    Reply
    • Your so right and it’s such an easy trick to get kids to eat. Once they’ve grown it or cooked it, they own it.

      Reply
  25. I make my own too, we call it muesli and it is the best late night snack!! I don’t make resolutions either, i try to improve on a daily basis, that keeps me busy enough.. have fun.. c

    Reply
  26. Oh Tammy, somehow I missed this. But now I found it and the granola looks so good, as does your approach to a new year! :) Wondering if it would be selfish or self betterment to make this just for myself? ;) Thank you for inspiring me always!

    Reply
  27. What a lovely read this was, dear Tammy! Your son is a cuty! :)

    Your home -made granola was looking so tempting & that’s why I made it! It was so good! ;)

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for letting me know that you tried it. I love it when that happens. Happy New Year Sophie!

      Reply
  28. Frozen apple juice concentrate! You have just found the perfect ingredient for granola. Oddly enough, I have been wanting granola, but not the same-old same-old recipe. Thus, I shall purchase frozen apple juice and try your recipe. Thank you, Tammy.

    Reply
  29. Tammy,
    I’m sending this recipe off to my daughter after I make some. Nice photo!

    Reply
  30. Oh, why did I stop preparing our homemade granola ? It tasted so good ! Everyone loved it and it was a great and healthy start of the day. Our muesli. My recipe included honey instead of apple juice. Thanks Tammy.

    Reply
  31. ellemarz

     /  January 11, 2012

    always wanted to make granola. this recipe sounds super easy. will definitely try it out! thanks for sharing it!!

    Reply
    • Do give it a try. It is super easy and you can add or take away any ingredients. I like that it is sweetened with maple syrup and apple juice.

      Reply
  32. Homemade granola is so delicious!

    Reply
  33. I love this. I wish when I was a kid, my parents made me spend more time in the kitchen–lol. There is something universally satisfying to preparing meals as a family or a group.

    -b

    Reply
    • That’s so true, isn’t it. Universally satisfying. This morning he woke me early and we have peach raspberry tarts in the oven. So much fun.

      Reply
  34. Making your granola recipe again! yum!

    Reply
  1. Granola with Apple Juice Concentrate « Lake Superior Spirit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: