This morning I was welcomed by a glorious wash of warm sunshine. The birds were chirping (a cheerful reminder that spring is soon approaching) and the day was fresh with possibility.
I slipped on my fluffy slipper boots and skipped my way through the house, intent on a momentous Saturday. As I danced my way into the boys room, my congenial disposition quickly fizzled. The sound of raspy breaths and a cough resembling a large land mammal came out from beneath the covers. My poor little asthmatic was not greeting the day with the same spring in his step.
Naturally, I wanted to make my little guy feel better and bring him comfort the best way I know how…with food. I’ve actually been warned before by our Pediatrician that comforting with food is a big no-no. But if I can ensure that my comfort comes in the form of healthy, well balanced food I see no harm in it. Do you?
Instead of boring old oatmeal, which is our usual weekend fare, I decided to experiment with a new granola recipe. After all, I was still resolute on making this a great day. Unfortunately, the hubby had the car for the day and we are in-between grocery shopping days. So, Mother Hubbard’s cabinets are…..well, less than full.
So I tinkered, tested, tasted and triumphed! I think the accidental recipes, the ones where you just have to improvise or make do with what you have on hand are the best tasting ones.
The kids loved this one and it didn’t take long to throw together. It put a smile on my boys face and yumminess into his grumbling tummy. Comfort and sunshine. Not a bad way to greet the day!
Comfort & Sunshine Granola:
(Makes 8 Cups)
Combine in a large bowl…
4 cups Oats
3 cups Rice Cereal
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 cup Dried Fruit
(I used 1/4 c. raisins + 1/4 c. dried cherry juice-infused cranberries)
1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
(This lends a “sweet & salty” flavor to the granola. Not your cup of tea? Then only add 1/2 tsp.)
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Combine in a small bowl…
1/4 cup Coconut Oil or Melted Butter
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Apple Butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Pour wet ingredients over the dry and mix until well moistened. Spread half the mixture out onto a large Parchment lined sheet pan or the entire mixture onto (2) Parchment lined sheet pans and rotate between top and bottom racks while baking.
Bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 20 minutes. (We’re basically slow roasting the granola for a toasted, caramel-y flavor.)
Remove from oven and gently stir the mixture and spread back out onto pan(s). Place back in oven for another 20 minutes. (Or 15 mins. for a less crunchy granola.)