homemade food like granola

More Home Cooking, Less Processed Foods

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I am presently writing this from the Plainfield Library. It is part of my goal to make sure I am taking time for myself and GRLIFE. I had an awkwardly timed meeting set for this afternoon which meant I couldn’t do my usual weekday Personal Training hour, so I decided to take an hour and work on writing instead. I needed a quiet place where I could type for a hour. I have worked out of coffee shops, but that means I have to order something, and I had already had my coffee for the day and didn’t really need anything else. I have also worked out of my car before, which can be pleasant with the windows rolled down, parked in one of our lovely parks. But it is super humid today, so air conditioning seemed wise. The library is the perfect spot. I had to laugh – I found a great table, facing out at some big windows, overlooking the yard – and as I went to sit down, I noticed one my coworkers sitting at the table next to mine! Apparently I wasn’t the only one with a good idea.

I’ve been thinking a lot about eating whole, minimally processed foods. For example, one of my favorite lunches right now is a cup of whole, locally made, plain yogurt, fruit and granola. (I buy this yogurt at the Rakowski Farm Store, if you are a fellow Grand Rapidian.) It’s some of the best yogurt I have ever had, and surprisingly, I don’t get sick of it. Usually I have about a week or two tolerance for yogurt before my body just says, “enough”, and I can’t eat it anymore. But that is not the case with this. I have been eating it almost daily for months and month now, and I still love it! I buy most of my fruit from Doorganics. I do supplement it with frozen fruit. I am particularly fond of throwing in something fresh (like cut up plums) and adding some frozen blueberries. The blueberries keep the yogurt cold, but thaw in my lunch by the time I go to eat it. The granola has been the tricky part. I do have a local source, but it is fairly expensive. Worth it, but I have to make it count. So it is great for this dish, but I also like to add a quarter cup of granola to my smoothies, and for that I don’t need the really good stuff.

I’ve been considering making my own. I used to do that a lot back in the day. And so, this weekend I bought all the ingredients and whipped up a fairly large batch using this recipe from Cookie and Kate: https://cookieandkate.com/2015/healthy-granola-recipe/

It turned out pretty well, but I have some modifications to make. It makes enough to go on 2 pans. The first time I checked it, at 11 minutes, it was just barely browned, When I took it out, another 11 minutes later, one pan was browned, the other had burnt sections! It’s not the fault of the recipe, it’s my pan. I’m going to have to watch it closer next time, and check it in 8 minutes or so. So far I like it, but it does have a slight “burned popcorn” flavor.

I like the idea of making my own because then I know exactly what is going into it. I don’t have much in the way of food allergies or sensitivities, but I do get migraines from rancid raw almonds. Usually almonds are roasted in granola, and roasted ones are never a problem, but I have seen raw as well. And all it takes is one almond to go bad in the bag and it will take me out for the rest of the day Which is why for my granola, I used walnuts.

I am also going to make some of my own hummus. I like Mark Bitman’s recipe a lot, (though I like 1 tablespoon of cumin AND 1 tablespoon of paprika.) I have been buying hummus regularly lately – all the better to eat August veggies with – and it is fairly expensive. Again, it is worth it, but if I can make my own for far less, I should do that. That way I know exactly what is in the recipe, and there won’t be any strange chemicals that shouldn’t be there.

My goal is to rework my kitchen. There are times for convenience foods for sure, but I would like to see if I can rely on them just a little bit less.


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