Super Simple Homemade Granola

As we enter the new year and attempt to re-adjust to real life after the whirlwind of the holidays, getting back to eating real food (and not all the chocolates) tends to take priority again. I myself, am just beginning to recover from my continuous holiday food-coma, and am finally curious about what is actually in my food again. What better way to begin the year than with a hearty homemade granola?

super simple granola recipe

A great morning.

I have loved granola my whole life, and I find it to be both a tempting snack and hearty breakfast. For the longest time though, homemade granola seemed like such an elusive and complicated undertaking, requiring time and ingredients that I didn’t have.

Turns out, homemade granola is not nearly as arduous as I thought! In fact, I invited my kindergartener to help me out and we actually had two batches out in one morning. Some simple measuring and watchful waiting was all it took to create a homemade and delicious breakfast that could last the whole week!

If you like know what’s in your granola, and like an easy recipe that you can ask your kids to help out on, read on!

Super Simple Homemade Granola

4 cups oats

1 cup walnut pieces

1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients, then add honey, olive oil, and vanilla. Spread onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes. I suggest giving it a quick stir in the last 5 minutes or so. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, and store in an airtight container.

super simple granola recipe

This is a variation of a recipe that I found via Pinterest at Recipe Tin Eats. I like her basic framework very much and I really appreciated the ease of her format. Her approach made the prospect of homemade granola very approachable. I did have to tweak the recipe a bit for our tastes, and the cooking time had to be adjusted a bit, but I was very happy with the results!

I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a great year of simple, homemade (mostly), and tasty recipes; stay cozy!

Foodie Favorite: Orchard Valley Dark Chocolate Almonds

Sometimes, nothing else will do. Something with chocolate must be had, and any other snack would feel like an imitation of pleasure.

Then, my analytical side kicks in. My age and genetics require me to be a little more conscientious about what I eat. I try very hard not to be too strict, or too obsessive about it, as I find these kinds of methods seem to backfire with my rebellious brain. On the rare occasions I have tried documenting every calorie I intend to eat in the day ahead, I find myself searching for ways to alter or “cheat” on said plan even before it has been executed.

So, I have been trying to make little changes, rather than very extensive ones. I feel that they may be less noticeable to my very contrary psyche and therefore, perhaps more readily accepted. One little change I have made recently is adopting a new chocolate-craving-busting snack, the Orchard Valley Dark Chocolate Almonds.

orchard farms dark chocolate almonds

I figure I can’t really go wrong with almonds, as they have a satisfying texture and can help satiate a growling tummy. And I have never complained about a bit of added chocolate, personally. It is dark, so I didn’t expect a huge burst of sweetness, but I did find it to be smooth and it is quite capable of satisfying my cocoa cravings.

I think maybe my favorite part is that they come packaged in individual servings. I know how ridiculous that must sound, of course I could buy a bulk bag and portion them out myself into smaller containers. However, I find the prepackaged portions so much more convenient, and it doesn’t afford me the option of adding “a few” extra, just because it was a tough day.

I can simply pop a portion in my handbag if I feel I might crave something sweet later, or come home to a cup of hot tea and chocolatey almonds.

orchard farms dark chocolate almonds

(Photo Credit: Layout items curated by my son.)

Bonus: My son loves them as well, and seeing as how they are way more nutritionally sound than the candy he usually requests, I am willing to let him have them as an occasional treat!

I’ve noticed that Orchard Farms has also come out with pre-portioned bags of some varieties of trail mix. They look quite interesting as well . . .

I hope everyone is enjoying the new year! Best wishes to all; and stay cozy!