It’s been a while since I’ve done a homemade post, hasn’t it? The truth is, a lot of the things I make from scratch are used in the Tuesdays with Dorie or French Fridays recipes. Any time you see me make something with a pie crust – that’s homemade. Pizza dough? Homemade. Hummus? Homemade. Bread crumbs for meatballs? Homemade. That crusty bread that gets served with soups and stewed meat dishes? Homemade. I bake that bread every week. Batches of pie crust and pizza dough get made once a month (they both freeze extremely well), as does hummus and bread crumbs, which – as I’m sure you can guess – are made from any homemade bread that’s starting to go stale.

So, really, it’s been a while since I made anything homemade that I haven’t already been doing for a few months now. I’ve got plans, though. And I’m starting to put them into action.

I’m afraid today’s offering isn’t incredibly exciting. I mean, it’s granola. How exciting can granola possibly be?

Homemade Granola.

Homemade Granola.

Let’s talk about breakfast for a moment. I love breakfast foods. Eggs, bacon, biscuits, oatmeal, pancakes – if it’s breakfast, I probably like it. But I hate making breakfast. I don’t mind cooking for two hours for dinner, but I want breakfast at once. I’m hungry practically from the moment I get out of bed. When I drive Geordie to work, that delays breakfast by about an hour, and that drives me crazy. (Except that it does work out – 6AM is too early to eat breakfast, but 7AM is just about right.) Breakfast should take about 5-10 minutes to make. Anything more than that, and I’m not interested in making it. At least, not for breakfast. That’s totally acceptable for dinner, which is why when I get a craving for pancakes or eggs or whatever, I schedule it for dinner. Pancakes for dinner never fails to make me happy.

The same thing goes for lunch. 5-10 minutes. That’s it. A sandwich is about as complicated as lunch can get. Leftovers are even better, as long as I can put them in a bowl or on a plate and stick them in the microwave a couple of minutes. Hummus and chips are perfect. Also, Greek yogurt and honey. Easy, simple, fast. Just the way I like my lunch. Also, healthy. That’s just a bonus.

Last week, I came across (another) homemade granola recipe and thought, that would be a nice addition to the whole yogurt and honey thing. Because yogurt and honey is yummy and all, but it’s not exactly thrilling to eat day after day. Granola would add some pizzazz to the whole thing – a little crunch to go with that smooth yogurt and honey would be nice. And granola is easy to make, especially when you’ve got a huge container of unopened old-fashioned rolled oats sitting in your pantry. I see no reason to buy granola. It’s usually expensive, it often has at least one ingredient I don’t want (example: coconut flakes, ew), and it almost always has more added sweeteners than it needs. Also, homemade granola is completely customizable. I used maple syrup and brown sugar as the sweeteners, but honey or agave syrup would work. I had dried cranberries and dried cherries in my pantry, but I’d love to try this with golden raisins and dried apricots. Or, ooh! dried figs. With pistachios. That’d be fun to try.

In short: granola is fun stuff, a little goes a long way, and it keeps for a couple weeks. Can’t go wrong with that.

Greek Yogurt with Honey and Granola.

Greek Yogurt with Honey and Granola.

Here’s the recipe I worked from, but there are a lot more granola recipes out there. It doesn’t have to be fancy. All it has to do is taste good (and this one does).

 
Granola
makes about 5 cups
adapted from Recipe Girl

3½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup unsalted nuts (I used slivered almonds, but any chopped nut would do)
¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or simply spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the oats, nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir together until well-mixed. Place butter and maple syrup in a separate microwave-safe bowl and heat gently until the butter is melted. Stir, then pour over the oat mixture. Mix until the oat mixture is just moistened. Press the granola into the prepared pan.

Bake on a lower rack for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to stir around the granola. You want to expose any pieces that didn’t get the direct heat. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Add the dried fruit and stir to mix it all up. Transfer to an airtight container, where it should keep for about two weeks.

For my honey-granola Greek yogurt, I combine ½ cup of Greek yogurt with half a tablespoon of honey, then mix in a quarter-cup of granola. Combined with an apple or banana, if makes for a pretty satisfying breakfast or lunch.

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