Recycla is a big fan of breakfast. She has learned over the years that not only is it not optional, but she needs to eat certain types of foods in order to have enough fuel to get her through the morning. She starts the morning off with fruit while she’s making her children’s breakfast and packing their lunches for school, then later on after things are more settled, she focuses on herself and makes her own healthy breakfast. Her two favorite options are oatmeal (during the cold months) and homemade granola (during the warm months).
Homemade granola is an incredibly filling breakfast, especially when mixed with yogurt (Recycla prefers low-fat plain Greek yogurt) and some fresh fruit. It’s filling, it’s yummy, and it’s healthy.
Many of the granolas available in stores are high in fat and/or sugar, so if you are looking for a healthy breakfast, you want to avoid those. There are some healthy granolas out there, but Recycla’s experience has been that they either taste like cardboard or are expensive.
Luckily, granola is incredibly easy to make. Recycla just made a fresh batch on Monday and it took her less than five minutes to mix it up and spread it out on a baking sheet. Depending on how many other people in her household share in the granola yumminess, a batch will last for a week or two.
Here’s the recipe Recycla uses (courtesy of her college roommate):
- six cups flaked or rolled grains (Recycla uses plain oatmeal)
- 1 cup nuts (Recycla’s faves are roasted unsalted sunflower seeds and slivered almonds)
- 1 cup wheat germ (Recycla usually substitutes ground flaxseeds for their Omega-3 powers)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg (or both)
- dash of salt (only if you’re using unsalted nuts)
- 1 cup raisins (dates and other dried fruits are excellent too)
- 1/2 cup canola or safflower oil
- 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup (Recycla usually cuts this back to a 1/2 cup or less)
- Heat oven to 300 F.
- Cover one or two jelly roll pans with cooking spray. Coat the pans well or else the granola will stick.
- In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients EXCEPT the raisins. (The raisins will burn or just really dry out if you bake them with the granola mixture.)
- Add the oil and the sweetener and mix thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are coated.
- Spread out on the jelly roll pans and bake for around 20-30 minutes. You want the granola to be lightly toasted but not burned.
- Remove from oven and add raisins.
- Allow to cool slightly and then store the granola in an airtight container. (Recycla finds that granola sticks to the pan if she lets it cool all the way, so she scoops it out about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven.)
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. In fact, Recycla doesn’t even look at the recipe anymore and instead just starts tossing ingredients into a bowl, depending on what she has on hand. Best of all, a two-week supply of granola costs around $2-3.
Tell the Eco Women: Do you eat granola? If so, do you make your own?
Photo credit: Recycla, who stores her granola in glass jars. So pretty.