Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Granola Gifts

One of my gifts to some friends/family happened to be homemade granola. I have to say, I loved making this and it tasted amazing!!

After researching granola recipes I ended up creating my own. Most recipes I found were either too complicated or too many odd ingredients that I didn't have in our kitchen. So, here's my recipe:

Homemade Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pumpkin spice
¾ cup wheat germ with cinnamon and flax seed
*Mix the above in a large bowl and set aside

½ cup melted butter
¾ cup honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
*Mix the above wet ingredients in a small bowl

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

Pour the mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Remove from oven and stir mixture around. Bake for another 8-10 min until light golden brown. Remove from oven and pour onto parchment paper to cool for 5-10 min.

Once cool, stir in dried fruit.
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried blueberries
½ cup dried apricots

Makes about 5 cups. Enjoy!

You may know, from a prior post, I had created my own basil pesto and frozen it for later use in my meals. Well, I have an update for you.  I made my own pasta dinner with the frozen pesto and the meal received Beans approval :) It was a success!

Bowtie Pesto Pasta 

2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
3/4 cup shredded turkey breast (used deli meat since I didn't have shredded on hand)
1/2 cup basil pesto (2-3 cubes frozen pesto)
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1 small can sliced black olives

*Cook and drain pasta as directed on pkg
*Mix hot cooked pasta, turkey, pesto and bell peppers in same saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until hot and pesto cubes are melted.
*Add olives and serve.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and I have! Happy New Year and best wishes for a safe and healthy one!