Saturday, December 11, 2010

#72 Homemade Granola

Breakfast time! I don't know of anyone who doesn't like cereal, and I can't think of a worse or more convenient breakfast than cold cereal. Granola is a great option, as it is nutritious, filling, and easy to make. And awesome with our homemade yogurt, by the way.
Here is my recipe:

4 C Rolled Oats

3/4 C Sliced Almonds

1/2 C Pecans (coarsely chopped)

1/2 C Flax Seed

1/3 C Sunflower Kernels

1/2 C Coconut

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

In a medium saucepan combine:

1/4 C Honey

1/8 C Molasses

1/4 c Oil (coconut oil would be the best.)

2 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour liquid over oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread granola on a cookie sheet and bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, stir in dried fruit if desired, and store in an air-tight container.

Pros: Easy, yummy, saves a lot of wasted packaging-- as convenient as cereal without all the additives and junk. You can make a large batch, as it stores very well.

Cons: The nuts and dried fruit can be expensive (but are optional!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

#71 Beat cooking blues with a big batch!

This post is hereby dedicated to Kim, the person who has made me not give up on this blog. Thanks for being a faithful follower!

You're tired, your family is hungry, and it's 30 minutes to dinner time. What do you do? Pull out a dinner from the freezer because you made extra last week! I'm really not a good planner when it comes to freezer meals, but since I do cook nearly every day, there are some meals that it's just as easy to make extra and freeze what we don't eat! There really is little extra time spent to double your ingredients. Then cooking time is about the same, also. Then when you need a meal, it's like getting served a fabulous meal with little to no effort. Currently I have in my freezer: borsht, perogies, chili, and stuffed pepper with polenta. This can certainly also apply to baked items, like muffins.

Pros: Save money (and waste) by avoiding fast food or unhealthy "convenience" meals. Use the same amount of electricity or gas as you would normally use to cook one meal (except for reheating.)

Cons: Requires freezer space and extra cookware. Also requires time to thaw-- so if it is a casserole of something, more time will be needed to warm it (try to plan ahead on a crazy day.) Not all meals freeze well.