Soooo, that was March. Wow. I really am not sure how that happened. There was lots of cooking (think charcuterie plates, slow cooked roasts & pretty cupcakes), lots of picture taking (mostly of Little on the fly) and much writing (especially if you count google searching how to convert your garage into living space), but nothing that ended up here. Yet.
Truthfully I know exactly where March went. It went to some travel, some visitors, some illnesses, some entertaining and some egg hunts. It was both stressful & surprising. Hectic & happy. Upon reflection, I am so grateful for my family and friends. I am truly fortunate.
I am also fortunate Mister and Little are such open minded eaters. The former, always and the latter...well, most of the time. We burn through a lot of staples in this house. Milk, eggs, bread & cereal the most. And until such time city bylaws will allow me to add a Bessie & Chicken Little to our brood, I will focus my efforts on making more bread and cereal at home.
I absolutely LOVE granola and I absolutely NEVER eat granola. Rarely anyways. Somewhere during my journey down a path of warped food & body issues, I managed to slot granola into the "too many calories & too many carbs" category. (Funny how potato chips never made it there though) But times are a'changing. With the quantity of cereal these boys of mine consume, a desire to bring more clean food into the house and my realization that granola is not going straight to my thighs (there is a good chance it's those potato chips, but I am still not totally convinced) it was time to start making some cereal of my own.
Turns out its pretty easy. And pretty awesome.
There are a ton of recipes out there for homemade granola. It really comes down to finding the one that suits your taste buds best. I was looking for gluten free, a few nuts, low sugar and not too hard. (texturally, not mentally.) I am not a fan of granola that, when eaten raw, could break a tooth. You may have to go through a few batches to get your ideal combo, and in doing so...give this one a go. Ironically the less sugar I used, the less stiff the granola so a win win as far as I am concerned. Watch your nuts (snicker snicker) as I cooked a few too long and there was a bit of a burnt taste to the cereal. I have also added chia seeds to another batch (not listed here) and they are great because they are major liquid absorbers so if you add warm milk to your cereal, you end up with a bit of a more oatmeal texture.
So welcome April. If March was out like a lion, then I believe April showers bring May flowers...
... and those I promise not to miss.
Cinnamon Breakfast Cereal.
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 cups gluten free rolled oats
2 cups puffed brown rice cereal (Natures Path works great)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup dried blueberries
2 Tbsp ground flax
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted & cooled.
1⁄3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F.
Spread nuts and seeds on a cookie sheet and place in the oven to lightly toast. About 7 minutes (but keep an eye on them). When lightly toasted, remove from oven and set aside.
Reduce oven to 250 °F.
In large bowl, mix together all the oats, rice cereal, coconut and spices. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, syrup and vanilla. Add the wet mixture over dry and stir to ensure all of the oats and rice cereal are evenly coated. Add the nuts and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a glass casserole dish (1 large or 2 smaller) and spread out evenly. Bake for 1 hour, stirring at 30 minutes. When done, if you prefer a firmer texture, you can turn off your oven and leave the granola in until oven is cool. Alternatively, remove from oven and let cook on counter.
When cooled, use spatula to release granola and break into chunks. Store in an airtight container.