Thursday, May 31, 2012

Eating Granola and Thought of You!

My friend Jen sent me a text this week that said, "Eating granola...and thought of you!"  What a high compliment in my book!  You see lately I've been on this wild granola kick.  One Saturday I was super hungry for granola and was out, so I decided to make my own.  It was a moderately successful first run, with a minor honey-heating incident with the microwave (Do not, I repeat, do NOT heat honey in the bear in the microwave! Just remember that angry bears will explode, and that's all you need to know.)  I also kept the oats in the oven too long, but masked the flavor by adding extra dark chocolate chips. 

Then there was that fateful trip to Costco where they sell "The World's Best Granola" complete with flax, amaranth, quinoa and other good nutritious stuff.  I've been loading up ever since.  The only problem is that there are 250 calories per 3/4 cup.  (Is it really fair to gain five pounds because of granola?  I think not!) 

While not a complete solution to the calorie challenge, I like the idea of making my own granola so that I can control the sugar content (and add extra good stuff like dried fruit, coconut or chocolate chips.) So I guess I'm making more dessert granola myself, but in place of a bag of chips in the afternoon it's still a good alternative.  Here is a recipe to the batch I whipped up yesterday.

3 1/2 cups rolled oats (I always make a super big batch.)
1/4 cup flax
1 Tab. milled flax
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 Tab. honey
1 Tab. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl.

Next, heat oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla over low heat.  When the honey and sugar are incorporated, you are good to go.

Pour syrup over the oat mixture and combine using a spoon or your hands (if you want to get messy.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press granola in a thin layer.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes.  You will need to take the granola out every 8-10 minutes to stir, flip, and toss so that all sides bake evenly and don't burn.  When the granola is finished and cooled I like to put mine into zip-top bags in the freezer for future eating. 

One of my favorite things about making my own granola is that it's the perfect "Use-it-Up" recipe.  You can add whatever you have available as long as you stick with the basic oats+nuts/dried fruit/other goodies+syrup equation.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bringing "Sexy" Back to Power Walking

I know that when I walk down the street I'm turning some heads. Yes that's right, I'm bringing sexy back to power walking with free weights.  Just give me some sandals to wear with my socks, and I will officially be rocking the neighborhood with my chicness.

I'm walking tall, not just swinging my arms alongside mind you, nope I'm pumping, punching, and curling those bright blue 3 lb. weights to get the most out of my two miles.  If I see you on the street, in your car, or at the ball field, you better believe I will give you a big wave.  But don't be ashamed if you don't wave back, its okay, I know my hotness is pretty intimidating, sneakers, holey shirt and all.