Most people right around now are making resolutions for the new year, entering fitness challenges, swearing off sweets, swearing off alcohol (if possible), or exercising more. I tried that last year and managed to accomplish of a few of my goals: Italy, exercise and eat healthy. This year is a little different since I have a cookie (bun) in the oven, but I am still managing to stay on my exercise and healthy kick. I'm still riding in my crazy and fun cycle class and cooking homemade meals for Eric and I.
For the most part, I love making everything from scratch. Everything really does taste better when it's homemade and we try to stay away from processed foods and take-out meals. I'll occasionally cook up some frozen ravioli or Kraft mac & cheese, but everything in moderation. Eric and I have managed to cut out all the ridiculous sweeteners, fancy creamers, and the extra stuff from our daily intake. It makes the world of a difference. One of my favorite breakfasts or 2nd breakfasts and sometimes snack of the day is a bowl of Greek yogurt loaded with this breakfast granola. Recently, I had made a batch to share as Christmas goodies and kept a small container for myself. It's easy to prepare, and you can easily substitute the dried fruits with your favorites but apricots and cherries are so ridiculously tasty together.
Start the new year healthy and fabulous!
Adapted from The Pastry Queen
1/2 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or can use safflower or canola oil)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried apriots, chopped finely
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two jelly roll baking sheets or cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the vegetable oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Stirring constantly until the brown sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes and sliced almonds. Pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl and stir until combined.
Spread the oatmeal mixture evenly on the two baking sheets.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the granola is a rich golden brown.
Cool completely before stirring in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks, or divide evenly into cellophane/ziplock bags for sharing.
Yield: 5 cups
Review: Yummy for your tummy and a great addition to your breakfast/2nd breakfast or snack of the day. You can eat it by itself or on top of your favorite yogurt. Maybe I might do all three meals, you can't overdo eating healthy right? I have to feed this growing cookie of mine.
Here's an updated belly picture from our New Year's Eve festivities. We attended a theme party "Havana Nights" and dressed up to the nines like they did back in the 1950s. I love how black is so slimming on my almost 22 week belly!! What did you do for New Year's Eve? Sleep? Party? ;-)