Make Your Own Healthy Granola

Have you ever wanted to make your own granola? It is really easy to do!

 

It's also healthier for you than most of the granola you buy in the store & you can add your favorite dried fruits, seeds, or nuts.

 

I make my own healthy granola at least once a week. I have some almost every day with Greek yogurt, and usually some fresh fruit, for either breakfast or lunch. My kids love it too!

 

Easy Homemade Granola Recipe

  • 3 cups old fashioned or rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plain raw almonds or other nuts
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or other seeds)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened dried fruit or coconut flakes (optional)
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • 3 T. raw honey
  • 1/2 t. vanilla, almond or coconut extract (optional)
  • 1/8 t. sea salt

 

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Combine your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Put the coconut oil and raw honey in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on low just until it melts and then add the flavor extract (if using one) to the mixture. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Stir and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container or ziplock bag.

 

You can experiment with the recipe to come up with your own favorite combination.


5 Simple Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms

What busy mom doesn't want to save time and money in the kitchen?

Over the winter I had gotten a little lazy with my cooking schedule as it was less busy and I was home more. But this month I have gotten back into the groove as we have been crazy busy with spring sports and other activities. I have felt like a taxi service the last few weeks. If you are a mom, I am sure you can relate to the "busyness" of Spring or just life as a busy mom!

 

Most of our nights the last few weeks have been spent at the ballpark for baseball and softball games. It can be tempting to pick up food or eat at the ballpark but it get's expensive and I am not a fan of my family eating hot dogs and fast food. I have found that with a few simple meal planning tips you can feed your family quickly, save money and not resort to junk food. It also makes your day much less stressful when you know what you are having for dinner before it is actually dinner time!

 

5 Simple Meal Planning Tips:

 

1. Plan Ahead – One of the biggest struggles (at least for me) is knowing what to make for dinner each night. I have found that if I take a few minutes over the weekend to plan my meals for the week ahead, my whole week goes much better.

 

2. Shop Smart - Go over your meal plan for the week and make a list of the items that you need from the store. It will save you time and money if you get all the items you need in one trip instead of stopping at the store multiple times during the week. Think about how often you end up picking up extra things if you just run in the store for one item.

 

3. Make Extra – It doesn't take much extra work at all to make up 2 dishes at the same time and then freeze one for an extra busy day when you are short on time. I often do this with things like lasagna or other casserole type dishes.

 

4. Use a Crockpot or Slowcooker – I love using my crockpot for busy nights, especially when we are not all home to eat at the same time. I will be sharing some of my favorite crockpot meals over the next year so stay tuned. If you have your main dish ready for your family to eat at any time and have a bowl of cut up fruit in the fridge to go with it. It is the perfect meal plan for a busy night and a lot healthier than eating out!

 

5. Multiple Meals – Buy and cook more meat than you will eat at one meal and then use the leftovers for another meal. For example, if you cook a pork loin for dinner one night, you can use shred the extra meat and use it for Pork BBQ buns or sandwiches another night. I will often cook a big meal for Sunday noon and then purposely have extra to be used on a busy night.

Stay tuned for more busy mom tips and videos to help you save time, money, and make your life less stressful!

 

What is your best meal planning tip?


Loving Your Imperfect Life

Life often doesn't go the way we had planned or dreamed it would. If you are like most moms, you have probably wondered at times where your dreams went wrong.

 

Think back to when you were growing up. You were filled with hopes and dreams for your life. You dreamed of the "perfect" life…

 

-the perfect guy

-the perfect job

-the perfect family

-the perfect house

 

But what happens when your "perfect" life isn't so perfect?

Your "perfect guy" has flaws and habits that annoy you.

Your "perfect job" isn't very fulfilling and takes you away from your family.

Your "perfect family" comes with many challenges…crying, sleepless nights, sickness, fighting, and an endless pile of laundry.

Your "perfect house" is messy, needs to be cleaned daily, and could use some updating.

The reality is your life here on Earth will never be perfect but that doesn't mean you can't be happy!

Don't let disappointment or broken dreams rob you of living a happy life.You can love your life and be happy despite the things that aren't perfect in your life. How?

1.) Count Your Blessings – Focus on the many things you do have instead of what you don't…you have a family who loves you, you have a house that keeps you warm, you have food to eat, you have a car that runs, etc. Write down your blessing in a journal or notebook. Keep adding to it and read through it often!

2.) Don't Compare -  It is so easy to compare your life to others but this only leads to feelings of dissatisfaction. People can "appear" to have a perfect life but it is not true because no one has a perfect life.

3.) Trust God – True happiness comes from God alone. Spend time daily studying scripture and growing closer to him. When you learn to trust him fully, you will be able to find happiness despite the imperfections in your life. He will give you the happiness that you desire!

"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

 

Choose to love your imperfect life today!


Healthy Apple Spice Granola

I have been on a granola kick lately. I love granola and greek yogurt with fresh fruit. It is one of my staples that I eat almost daily for breakfast or lunch.

 

I usually make my own granola so I know it is healthy and not loaded with sugar and other additives. It really is easy to make and you can customize it to your liking. This homemade granola recipe is my "go-to" granola recipe and I usually make a batch weekly.

 

I recently came across this granola recipe made with apples, applesauce & quinoa and it looked interesting. I am not a huge fan of quinoa. I have tried to like it but so far I haven't liked any recipe I have tried until now!

 

I love this cinnamon, spicy apple granola! It has a unique taste with the soft apple pieces and the crunchiness of the quinoa. It is the perfect fall treat to snack on, eat with milk or add to yogurt.

 

This granola recipe is a keeper and has become a new favorite of mine!

 

Healthy Apple Spice Granola

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup almonds (whole, slivered or sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium size apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey (honey would need to be melted)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • raisins or unsweetened dried cranberries (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet (or 2 smaller ones) with parchment paper.

 

In a large bowl mix the oats, quinoa, almonds, seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

 

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup whisk the melted coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce, honey (or maple syrup), and brown sugar.

 

Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is moistened. Fold in the diced apples & dried fruit (if desired).

 

Spread evenly on baking pan or pans and bake for 45 minutes. Stir the granola every 15 minutes to prevent it from burning. Cool on baking pan for at least 20 minutes.

Keep in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Best used within a week because of the apples or it may loose the crunchiness.