Whenever you start school, have a safe year filled with challenges, learning and fun!
Let this Maple Granola with Chocolate sweeten your mornings!
Maple Granola with Chocolate
This is a book with a lot of food in it, wonderful for a foodie like me! Interspersed with the food is a murder, addiction and relationship crises. I asked author Leslie Hooton if food was a unified in After Everyone Else. She responded, “Not only do I think food is a unifier, it can create both funny and touching scenes. That is why food appears in so many great books; it is also the source of memory. And I love writing about memory.”
In the exciting opening paragraphs of the novel, main character Bailey Edgeworth, restaurant designer, is arrested for murdering her ex-husband. Her DNA is all over his apartment and they argued before his death. Want to know who is guilty? You have to read almost to the end of the novel to find out!!
School is starting soon in South Carolina and around the rest of the country. Vacations are coming to a close and even if the weather is still summer-like, many routines are changing. Breakfast is often a loser. It doesn’t have to be! This homemade Maple Granola with Chocolate, and other breakfast recipes I’ve linked, help busy people eat well with only a little prep. Granola can be stored in on the counter for several day, in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and in the freezer for a few months. In about 15 minutes prep, you can create this great breakfast addition or snack. Add the granola to cereal or yogurt. Add this delicious crunch to a salad or bring along when you pick up your kids for a great snack, instead of stopping at a fast food joint on the way home, saving money and feeding your children wholesome and healthy food that you made! The other breakfast recipes include bulk pancake and waffle mixes and of course freezing what you have made! I have frozen frittatas made in muffin tins, muffins and pancakes and waffles. Just pull them out of the freezer in the morning, heat in a microwave or toaster oven and in 2-3 minutes, breakfast is all done! Even though my kids are grown and I am cooking for one, I still tend to cook and freeze, freeing time up for needed or desired tasks, like reading, gardening, swimming, volunteering, and, of course, writing blogs and book reviews! Here's a link to other great breakfast recipes!
Maple Granola with Chocolate
Yield: 6 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cup raw nuts and/or seeds such as pecans, cashews or
almonds and pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup mild oil (I used canola)
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, apricots, pears or a mixture
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300 F. Place parchment paper on an oven proof baking sheet. In large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir to blend.
Pour into a large measuring cup oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix. Pour over oats mixture and mix until all is coated. Spoon granola onto pan and with a wooden spoon, press into an even layer.
Bake until lightly golden, about 40-45 minutes, stirring halfway. It will get crispier as it cools. Remove from oven.
Mix together dried fruit, cutting up larger pieces. Add to warm granola, mixing the mixtures together. Press down in pan.
Let granola cool to room temperature before storing in a jar, tins or preparing for freezing.
Store in airtight container at room temperature or in refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. To freeze, place in freezer bag. Can be frozen for 3-4 months. Bring to room temperature before eating.
Gluten free: Use gluten free oats.
Nut free: Omit nuts and use seeds, such as like sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Other sweeteners: Use honey or dark brown sugar. I frequently use Truvia Brown Sugar to cut the sugar in the recipe.
Other stuff to add: Add any raw nuts or dried fruit that you like.