Last year, five months after Will was born, my husband and I went on a little weekend get away to Door County, Wisconsin. While it sure wasn’t Traverse City, Michigan (our favorite place to go in the summer), it was beautiful, relaxing and nice to get away, even if only for two nights.
Anyone that has had a newborn knows that sleep is few and far between, time alone with your spouse is rare and functioning on less than three cups of coffee doesn’t happen. No complaining here- I wouldn’t trade it for the world- just telling it how it is.
We stayed at this adorable little Bed and Breakfast (The Juniper Inn) in Door County that reminded my husband and I why we want to someday own a B&B (I will be the one whipping up the delicious breakfasts of course). This bed and breakfast was so quaint, quiet, peaceful and serene. We love to stay in B&B’s (when we are without the little one) because they offer such a personal feeling and the food is homemade and often showcases local farmers and ingredients.
Now lets talk about homemade granola. Almost all bed and breakfasts I have stayed at make their own granola. The best thing about granola is that it has many uses—for breakfast with a bowl of yogurt and fresh fruit or a snack during a busy day.
A few weeks ago I realized I still hadn’t tried to make my own granola. It has been in the back of my mind and I finally took the plunge. It is easy to make, tastes great, is healthy and cheaper than the store bought stuff. There is no turning back!
Start by choosing what you want to put in your granola. Here is what you need: 2 cups of old fashioned oats (not the quick cooking kind), 1 ½ cups nuts/seeds (whatever you want), 1/3 cup oil (I used olive oil), 1/2 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and ginger, 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (I used honey), ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and ¼ cup dried fruit of your choice (or anything else you fancy).
In a large bowl combine the oats and nuts/seeds. Put the olive oil and honey (or maple syrup) in the bowl and stir well to combine. Add the spices and vanilla and continue to mix well. Spread parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out the granola mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure all pieces baked evenly. Add the dried fruit in to the granola during the last 10 minutes of baking.
- 2 cups of old fashioned oats (not the quick cooking kind)
- 1 ½ cups almonds (I crushed the almonds into pieces so it is easier to eat)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg and ginger
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine the oats and almonds. Put the olive oil and honey in the bowl and stir well to combine.
- Add the spices and vanilla and continue to mix well.
- Spread parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out the granola mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes total, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure all pieces are baked evenly.
- Add the dried cranberries to the granola mixture during the last 10 minutes stirring well to mix it up.
Source: A Beautiful Mess
Other ideas for granola ingredients: coconut, pecans, walnuts, dried blueberries or cherries, chocolate, pumpkin seeds, pepitos, sunflower seeds, flax seed, banana chips, peanut butter chips.
What is your favorite granola combination?