Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easy Maple Granola

First of all, I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter holiday!  I have been a busy little bee the last few days.  See, I'm graduating (WOOHOO!!!!!!) with my masters' in May, and was feeling the mid-semester crunch.  I decided on Thursday that I might feel better if I just wrote out a to-do list with due dates for both of my classes the rest of the semester so that I could quantify my stress instead of stressing without bound.  :-)

Once I did that, it all started to seem more manageable.  I started tackling my to-do's and before I knew it, I had read four chapters, taken 3 tests, knocked out 2 major projects, and written 3 papers. 

Like a boss.

So now all that stands between me and my M.Ed. has been pared down to 6 lines on a to-do list.  (Two of them are going to be pretty intense, but we're just going to ignore that for now.)

After all that work, I retreated to the kitchen to whip up some homemade granola.  Except I couldn't find the recipe I usually use.  (Darn!)  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise- the new version I found has a fraction of the oil and cooks up in less than 1/3 the time of my usual.  (And fewer dirty dishes!  Heckyesscore!!!)

This recipe is forgiving, so if you want to throw in a few extra almonds or add some pecans or walnuts, knock yourself out.  I did!

Minimally adapted from Cafe Sucre Farine, Originally from Barefeet in the Kitchen

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Stir together all ingredients to coat thoroughly. Spread across the parchment paper and bake for 15-18 minutes, stir the mixture after 10 minutes and spread across the tray again before returning to the oven.

3. Let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Use as a topping on yogurt or fresh fruit, oatmeal or for a quick, healthy snack.

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