Thursday, January 2, 2014

Home Made Vanilla Almond Pepita Granola

In an effort to make the most of our money this year, I've decided to start planning our meals better.
I find that I often get lazy or forget that I have to take meat out of the freezer, so I aim to freeze meat not just in the packaging it comes in, but to add marinades and be better about taking it out the night before.
My doctor said I need to be better about getting calcium and magnesium, so I went out and bought vanilla Greek yogurt (Zoi brand, it's local and absolutely delicious), vanilla-almond granola, and raw pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds have a lot of magnesium and protein, so that's why I bought them.
I've been snacking on yogurt, store-bought granola and raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a while and my mouth is a little bored. I can't help it. I love variety. It's the spice of life! So in that vein, I have decided to make my own granola, with some additions. I've added links to granola recipes I looked at and adapted my recipe to suit my needs.

     Vanilla Almond Pepita Granola

  • 2 1/2 c old fashioned oats (not instant!)
  • 1 c almonds, chopped
  • 3/4 c pepitas / pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c ground flax seed
  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • 1 t pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 T organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 T vanilla (also home made!)
  1. Mix oats, almonds, pepitas, flax seed, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and maple syrup in a mixing bowl with a spatula.
  2. Start up the oven, heating it to about 300 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet (or two) by spraying with cooking spray, or putting down parchment paper.
  3. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan, stirring constantly until it starts to simmer, on medium-low, until sugar is dissolved and butter incorporates, about 5-8 minutes. I added the butter about 4 minutes in so it would melt, but you could melt your butter in the microwave if you have one.
  4. Turn off heat and remove pan from heat. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. 
  5. Pour the liquid mixture over the 'dry' ingredients in the large mixing bowl, and mix together.
  6. Finally, spread the mixture out onto the cookie sheet(s). Bake 30-60 minutes, or until dry to the touch.
Let me know if you try my version of vanilla almond granola!