August 11, 2010

Granola On My First Day Off

Today is my first day off since I started back to work.  Granted I have only been at work for 2 short days but still...

Anyway, I'm back on my regular schedule at work (Mon, Tues, off Wed, Thur, Fri, off Sat, off Sun).  When I was on this schedule before my medical mishaps, Wednesdays were always a cooking day.  I would make stuff for a nice dinner and also some treats, snacks and meals that would keep well or could be frozen. I was so looking forward to keeping this schedule and I am so thankful that I got to have one of these days before the kiddos go back to school next week.

I wanted to make something healthy and inexpensive.  Today I made Cranberry Almond Granola.  Very good.  So much less expensive than buying.  And it makes a bunch!  It keeps very well...I store it in an airtight plastic lidded container or in quart mason jars and I've found it stays fresh for a couple of weeks.

My recipe is kind of a mix of several recipes that I have tried in the past and like certain features of.  I wanted to make it low in fat and I wanted alot of healthy grains in it. 


Lisa's Cranberry Almond Granola

2c. 5 grain cereal
1c. unproc bran
4c. oatmeal (not quick cooking)
2c. sliced almonds
1c. honey
1c. dark brown sugar (packed)
1/3c. veg or canola oil
1/2c. water
1T. vanilla (optional)
1+3/4c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with Pam.  Mix cereal, bran, oats and almonds in a large bowl.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan mix sugar, oil, water and vanilla.  Bring this to a slight simmer then immediately pour over oat mixture.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour half of mixture onto each prepared baking sheet.  Bake for approx. 40 min. stirring several times during the baking.  You're looking for the mixture to be mostly dry and crunchy.  This may not take the full 40 min. depending on your oven, etc.  When it is done cool slightly then add the dried cranberries.   Store in airtight container(s).


Along with this I thought yogurt would be perfect.  I had been wanting to try a homemade version and as milk has been less than $2 a gallon, I decided to try it now.  I followed this recipe.  I have yet to try it so I dont know what it is like yet but I have tried several of her other recipes and have been pleasantly surprised by them all so far.  In fact this is now a favorite around here.  I make this about 2x a year, usually when we have people over and they always love it!
I've had my cooking fun for awhile and now I'll be back to other things.  Sewing.  Papercrafting.  What fun it will be.  Thinking ahead about some projects for the holidays....

Have a good week!

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