Inflation Inspired Pantry Granola E. A. T. #51

Everyday healthy. A Grab-and-Go snack. Simple is good. Make it cheaper, make it better.

Homemade granola is so much tastier and healthier than anything available store-bought….and more definitely more affordable. At times when I am really busy I will buy my favorite brand from the supermarket, but earlier this week while grocery shopping I had a few “arresting inflation shopping moments” that did not have anything to do with filling my car up before entering the grocery!

Limes, which I had to have for a photo shoot recipe, were 89 cents each! Two large crisp apples cost $2.64, etc, etc. The granola I buy “in a pinch” was $1 more per package and the package is not very large. Granted it is low sugar, low-batch produced and has a lot of really good ingredients, but I just could not make myself toss it in the cart. Why now? Why not now? Why not make my own using what I already have at home in my pantry. It is quick and easy and based on good whole grain oats and whatever else I can rummage up so I call this batch “Inflation Inspired Pantry Granola”.

Pantry Granola is delicious with yogurt and fresh fruit, but also as a sprinkle over a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, and can be stirred into oatmeal right before eating to add a little crunch. Sometimes I take it in a little container with me in the car for when I get the munchies. A little bit salty and a little bit sweet. Very satisfying.

This batch of granola has pecans, large coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, old-fashioned oats, maple syrup, brown sugar and olive oil with a bit of sea salt tossed in. I have attached a recipe or how-to, but truthfully you can add as much or as little of any nuts, grains, dried fruit, etc as you like. It is pretty hard for this to not be a success. It is absolutely as easy-as-this.

Giant bowl of good stuff…..
….all tossed together.

Spread out on parchment lined baking sheets and popped into the oven until a bit caramelized. We like our granola pretty toasted & roasted, but that is totally up to you. Less toasted, more toasted, anyway you like it.

Cool down time.

Stored in large airtight containers ready for the pantry. It is as easy-as-this.

A few jars of healthy goodness.

Other granola post links: “Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola” and “Hola! Granola!” Different versions, same results.

Pantry Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole grain rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill), not quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup each pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans (or any mixture to make 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup each pistachios, walnuts, slivered almonds (or whatever nuts you have to make 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (shredded works as well)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (you can use honey, just take it down to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • Sea salt flakes (kosher will do)
  • Note: Use whatever combination of ingredients you prefer or have on hand for your own mix. You can add dried fruit such as chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries, banana chips, but add these the final 15 minutes of cooking so they do not get to dried out! I have added in flax seeds and cracked black pepper as well as a bit of coffee grounds. Make it how you like it…the process is the same.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together in a large bowl the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, slivered almonds and coconut.
  3. Add maple syrup, olive oil and brown sugar and sea salt flakes. Toss all of the ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Divide the granola mixture between the two pans and spread out evenly. Bake granola, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is toasted to your liking, for about 45 minutes. (Adjust time based on your oven and how toasted you like your granola.)
  5. Remove granola from the oven and let cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month. I have found that one batch usually lasts us about a month with both of us having it most mornings.

Be well.

teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Strawberries on Toast for Lunch E.A.T. #50

Late May in Nashville means an abundance of fresh, juicy, local strawberries. Sliced strawberries on buttered bread toasted with a light sprinkling of raw sugar is just about a close to Nirvana as you can get when it comes to food.

This was our Friday lunch, and might be Saturday’s lunch as well and why not Sunday breakfast with a few slices of Gruyere added? We try to eat as many as we can while the local crop is plentiful. Simple is best, although over the years I have posted recipes for strawberry jam and Victoria sponge cakes with strawberries…let’s not forget the strawberry tarts. Those are all delicious and wonderful, but our absolute favorite way to eat strawberries is just like this. Simple and lightly sweet.

There is no recipe. Just grab some really good crusty-loafed bread such as sour-dough. Fresh local berries capped and sliced. Smear the bread slices with yummy softened butter and toast. Top toasted bread with sliced berries and a light sprinkling of raw sugar. It is as Easy-as-This.

Life is short, summer is here, treat yourself and others kindly and enjoy the bounty.

Bon Apetit.

(Almost No Cooking) E.A.T. Late Summer Salad with Crowder Peas, Homegrown Tomatoes & Cucumbers

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 The so-called “dog days of summer” have gotten to me and when it comes to cooking I am giving in. Salads and variations-on-the-salad will be my mainstay for a bit. Cool foods that I can quickly and easily put together with ingredients  that are readily and locally available. I will make foods that do not require breaking a sweat.

This colander of fresh Crowder peas in where we start today. I quickly cooked them in a plastic bag in the microwave…no hot water steaming up the kitchen on this 90+ degree day,  then I rinsed them in cold water and let them drain for a bit.

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Hmmmm….homegrown tomatoes & cucumbers from the Duren-Kemp garden of earthly delights. (That’s my son-in-law and daughter’s garden.)

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A splash or two or three of this fab balsamic vinegar purchased down the street from Lazzaroli’s Pasta emporium.

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Easy as this Lemon Salt  & freshly ground black pepper added to taste… served with glass of chilled white wine and a baguette from Dozen’s Bakery.

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 A late summer, no oven or stove-top dinner, healthy & fresh, cool as a cucumber meal! Keep it simple, don’t work up a sweat with this “Crowder Pea, Homegrown Tomato & Cucumber Salad”. It’s another “E.A.T. ” (easy as this) meal brought to you from my little Food on Fifth kitchen.

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(Almost No Cooking) E.A.T. Late Summer Salad of Crowder Peas, Homegrown Tomatoes and Cucumbers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: E.A.T. (Easy as This)
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups fresh, shelled Crowder peas, lady peas or any other summer pea
  • 4 medium size home-grown tomatoes cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1-2 fresh smallish size cucumbers, peeled or unpeeled, sliced or cut into chunks
  • a good balsamic vinegar, as much as you like to coat
  • lemon salt & freshly ground black pepper (or just regular sea salt)

Directions:

  1. Rinse & drain peas & put in a zip-lock bag left slightly open. Cook in microwave for about 8 minutes on high. Dump into a colander and rinse with cool running water. Leave to drain for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl toss together the cooled peas, tomato chunks & cucumbers.
  3. Season with salt & black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve at room temp or chilled. Delicious with a crusty baguette and, of course on a hot day, a glass of chilled white wine. Bon Appetite.

Teresa Blackburn   teresablackburnfoodstyling.com    foodonfifth.com