"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cherry Almond Granola (Healthy, No-Oil Recipe) and Life Stuff

This weekend was a good one.

My husband didn't get called in to work. My younger son learned how to whistle, and to use chopsticks! I had an AWESOME trail run on Sunday! We spent time with good friends.

Don't you love weekends like that?

To be honest, a little while back, for a few months, I had a string of not-so-good weekends. Wade was both out of town, and called in a lot for work, and we don't function so well like that. We are a team, and we operate best that way. His job can be stressful, and sometimes it is difficult to have a good attitude. For him and for me. Hence, a few less-than-stellar months.

...but the bright side of that is the way God has prepared us to walk through these types of situations by giving us the ability to communicate really well with one another. (We have LEARNED that over the years, after doing things the wrong way many times and learning from our numerous mistakes) Another amazing gift is that we both feel quite unable to exist for very long when we're not connected with the other person. Not in a yucky, smothery kind of way, in a good, healthy, you-make-me-a-better-person kind of way.

In short, I was struggling to be happy/joyful for a little while. I was acting the right way, but not spilling over with joy. Does that make sense? I don't believe in acting the wrong way just because you feel like it. But acting the right way when it's against your feelings is exhausting.

... I am happy to say, this episode of  "Working Through Life Stuff" is complete. Happiness- restored. Joy- spilling over. I am thankful. And also mindful that another episode will be in the works soon. Because that's just how it works.

Ok, ok, enough about that. Sheesh. Let's talk about this granola:

I started looking for a lower in fat granola recipe last week. I LOVE this granola recipe but wanted to experiment with a recipe without oil.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup applesauce (I used cinnamon applesauce because that's what I had)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup almonds (I used toasted since you don't actually bake them)
  • 1/2- 1 1/2 cup roughly chopped dried cherries or any dried fruit (I only had 1/2 cup but you could use whatever dried fruit you like/have and use up to 1 1/2 cups- I just don't like a ton of dried fruit in my granola) (I put a bag of cranberries in the above photo, but then changed my mind.)

Put the oatmeal, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl and stir. I used my hand:

Wanted: a hand model

Then, whisk the brown sugar, applesauce, and honey in a medium bowl,

And mix the wet stuff into the dry stuff. Then spread it out in a large cookie sheet (one with sides, or use a cake pan) I sprayed my pan with Pam first.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, then turn the granola over with a spatula, then bake for another 15 minutes or so, until golden and crunchy. (Except don't try to take a hunk out of the oven and eat it. You will burn your tongue. Ask me how I know.)

While it's baking, you can give your dried fruit a quick, rough chop if you want to. I am not one to boss you around about how you handle your dried fruit. But since I don't like to use a lot of dried fruit, I prefer mine chopped a bit to distribute it more.

When the granola comes out of the oven, throw the nuts and fruit on top and let it cool. Then mix it all together!

Yum. I had a bowl for dessert- it was delicious!!
It has approx. 165 calories in a half cup.

I got this recipe from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/

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