The Hubby has been on the lookout for a trail mix which is both healthy and delicious. He’s found some which are tasty, but sorely lacking in the healthy department. He was content to stick with tasty, until I read off the list of ingredients (I’m a real peach to live with), most of which I couldn’t pronounce, and ever since he’s been searching for a new trail mix, and even contemplating making his own. Now, the Hubby is pretty competent in the kitchen (along with a few other key rooms), so mixing together some nuts, chocolate and dried fruit falls well within his culinary range.
If you remember, my family came for a visit last weekend. Well, my little brother likes to make his own granola, so I strategically put him and the Hubby together and on topic.
(Oh, you fellas didn’t realize that was planned….)
And low and behold, my baby bro left us with a basic recipe and instructions.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups chopped nuts, almond, walnuts, pecans, pistachios....the sky is the limit.
- 2 Tbsp. Wheat Germ or Flax Powder
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1/4 Olive or Organic Canola Oil
- 1/3 cup pure Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup dried fruit of choice, cranberries, blueberries, raisins (add after baking)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
- 3 Tbsp. melted Peanut Butter
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix all dry ingredients (oats, nuts, wheat germ or flax, coconut if using) together in a medium bowl until well combined.
- Add in wet ingredients (vanilla, maple syrup and oil) and stir/fold until well mixed.
- Once combined, put mixture onto a baking sheet. Leave clumped together. Do not spread out on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Remove from oven and let cool 30 minutes. Add optional dried fruit or chocolate chips if desired.
- Enjoy plain, with milk as cereal or with yogurt and fresh fruit.
- Note: If you like your granola on the crunchier side, spread it out on the baking sheet and cook longer.
So, wasting little time, the Hubby made his own granola right away. He used almonds and hazelnuts because it’s what we had on hand. After baking, he added raisins, cranberries and mini chocolate chips. It wasn’t a bad first attempt, but he immediately wanted to make improvements. He wanted more nuts and chopped nuts (it’s amazing how the male brain functions).
Despite the need for changes, this granola was good….so good,I hijacked half the batch and ate it every day at work with some soy yogurt and blueberries. I literally got excited every time I went to eat some.
By Friday, I was out of the granola, but still had yogurt and blueberries left. Not wanting to waste all this goodness, I added some store bought granola cereal to the mix instead. Now, up until last week, I actually enjoyed this cereal. Not anymore. After eating the Hubby’s version, my store bought granola was sorely lacking. Once you get the good stuff, you can’t go back. And if I sound like I’m obsessed, it’s because the granola was just that good.
So I spent a few minutes on Saturday morning whipping up my own batch of granola. I took the Hubby’s advice and used more nuts: almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, and I even crushed a bunch first. If you are looking for a fast way to crush nuts without lugging out the food processor (I don’t even own one), throw the nuts in a heavy duty Ziploc bag and go to town on them with a meat tenderizer. It can be a great stress reliver too.
(Good thing the Hubby wasn’t home for this little exercise).
While my granola cooked, the smell began to overtake over the house, and I started to drool.
I also came to the realization I had been tricked. The only reason the Hubby shared half his granola with me is because he knew I would enjoy it so much I had to start making it, essentially eliminating his need to do so. And how could I not share with him, since he so generously shared with me. Well played, Hubby, well played.