Granola – Cinnamon-Vanilla and Pecan

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends.

This year I hope to make a few changes – not so much “new years resolutions” because I feel like those don’t ever stick and people feel obligated to make one with out the intention of keeping it.  These will be more along the lines of continual adjustments. So I’ve decided on a few things to “work on” this year and they include: getting in better shape (working out, eating healthier, etc.), making more vegetable based dishes, creating a gluten-free flour blend, more recipe development, canning/preserving more with my dad, reducing the amount of refined sugar that we intake, and making more items at home (granola, muffins, bagels, and non food items such as bath salts, etc.)

A few weeks ago I taught my neighbor David how to make refrigerator and bread and butter pickles.  I gave him a jar of each a few months ago, and what I didn’t know was he is a huge pickle fanatic.  I think both jars were gone in less than a week.  So when we see each other he talks about them saying “these are the best I’ve ever had”. Bryan headed to NJ for a few days so I figured I would have David over and we would make a batch of each.  He was so excited. We had a great time. While we are making these I kept thinking…”I need to do more of this”. I know my dad and I have plans to can a whole bunch of things, but I just get such great pleasure out of making something and being able to not only enjoy it myself but share it with others.

As I thought of other things I could make at home I came up with a list of items and one of them was homemade granola.  I’ve made it in the past and even blogged about it. I don’t know why I haven’t made it in such a long time – it is so simple and delicious, but yesterday I decided to make a batch.  A simple batch consisting of gluten-free oats, cinnamon, vanilla, and chopped pecans.  You can add anything you wish to granola as long as you have the basic recipe down. Granola to me is a blank canvas – feel free to adjust this recipe to your specific tastes.  I store my granola in a pint-sized mason jar (you can also store them in any air tight container).

Basic Granola Recipe

1/4 cup honey (you can substitute agave nectar or use 1/2 honey 1/2 agave)

1 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare a sheet pan with either a silpat or lightly spray with cooking spray (make sure it is gluten-free) or you can line the pan with tinfoil (lightly spray with cooking spray)
  3. Heat honey (and/or agave) for 10 seconds to help loosen it up.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl all honey (and/or agave), and oats.
  5. Evenly spread oat mixture in a thin even layer.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Turning pan half way through.
  7. Let cool. Crumble into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Additions: If you wish to add any of the following ingredients add them in step 4 – mix well.

Nuts: Pecans, Walnuts, Macadamia, Almonds etc. (chopped, slivered, sliced) (1/2 cup)

Coconut: Fresh, Shredded (unsweetened) (1/2 cup)

Cranberries: Dried (re constitute them in a little bit of water for 10-15 minutes prior to adding them in) (1/2 cup)

Spices: All Spice (1tsp), Cinnamon (1tsp),Vanilla extract (1/2 – 1tsp)

Chia Seeds: (1/8 – 1/4 cup)

Puffed Rice Cereal: make sure this is gluten-free (1/2 cup)

Really – the options are endless.

Bryan eats his granola (I make his without any nuts) just as it is…not milk, yogurt, etc. I on the other hand love it over some vanilla yogurt (like Stonyfield Farms and Chobani).

This is only the start of homemade goodies for this year…stay tuned for more goodies.


Activia Releases Two new Yogurts

This month Activia has released two new styles of yogurt – Greek and French!  To help spread the word, they partnered up with Foodie Blogroll and are offering everyone a FREE* coupon (value $3) to give them a try.

The new Greek flavors include: Vanilla, Blueberry, Pomegranate Berry, and Strawberry – I love Greek yogurt so I am very excited to give these a try. I especially love Vanilla Greek Yogurt.

The new French flavors include: Cherry, Mango, Blackberry, and Pineapple – I don’t think I have ever had French yogurt so I think I might give this a try with my coupon.

Which one are you most interested in trying?  Here is what you need to do get your FREE* coupon (value $3):

To get your coupon do as follows:

    • 1) Go to: – this will take you to a FB page.
    • 2) “Like” the page
    • 3) You may have to also click on the “Activia Select” link on the left sidebar
    • 4) Enter your information in the form, select the yogurt you’d like to try and click on “Get Coupon”
    • 5) You will receive an email with a link to the printable coupon.
    • 6) Print the coupon (you may need to allow the Java print plug-in on your browser)
    • 7) Bring it to a store to redeem your free Dannon Activia sample

The coupon EXPIRES on 8/15/11 so hurry up, get your coupon, and head to the store to get your free sample (value $3)!

*This sponsorship is brought to you by Activia Selects who we have partnered with for this promotion. FREE coupon offer good 8/3 /11 – 8/15/11, up to 1 million coupons, on any Activia Selects Single Serve, up to $3.00. One coupon per household. Offer valid in the U.S only. VOID IN LA, NJ, CA. Coupon valid until 8/15/11.Residents of LA, NJ, CA will be given a ‘$1 off 3 Activia Selects’ coupon.