Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

“Hidden sugars,” I’m sure I’ve said, with sass loaded into my voice, about granola. When I have an opinion, I can get sassy about it — and I’ve been a bit down on granola before. In some ways, rightly so: the store bought kind is usually full of sugar, despite the “healthy” aura granola has compared to other cereals.

But homemade granola deserves a second look. I admit it. There are no hidden sugars when you’re doing the cooking, and even better you can tweak and adjust and make a version that totally fits your tastes.

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

In this recipe, the only sweetener is maple syrup (the flavor of maple syrup is perfect with oats in the morning). Everything else in the bowl is simple, too: rolled oats, pecan pieces, butter, chia seeds, ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add that all to a bowl, mix it up, and toast it — you’re on your way to a delicious morning bowl! Easy peasy lemon squeezey. 🍋

The house and my clothes smelled like maple and cinnamon for a full day after pulling a big tray out of the oven. ✨

Pictured here: Granola, blueberries and banana in my breakfast bowl, topped with milk. BUT we also enjoyed this granola with yogurt (adds great crunch!) and as a desk snack (still have a jar-full for next week!).

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

Published February 5, 2019 by
   Print This Recipe

Yields: 2.5 cups   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. In the bottom of a large microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut/butter. Add: oats, pecan pieces, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Use a spatula to stir until everything is evenly distributed.
    3. Spread oat mixture on prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
    4. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight contain. Serve with fruit and milk like cereal, eat plain as a snack, or sprinkle over yogurt for a parfait.
    5. Store in an air-tight container.

    2 Comments

    House Update - #1 (House numbers & Fireplace redo)

    Hi guys! I hope you will forgive me, today's post is not about food. But! This post has been a few months in the making and I'm so happy to finally share it.

    Lately, I've been pouring a lot of my creative energy into making our new house feel more like home so I wanted to share some of the projects I've been working on! I hope you'll enjoy watching the transformation.

    This blog post covers how we updated our house numbers and how we updated our living room fireplace. Read on for details and pictures! 

    House Numbers

    The first thing I wanted to do was to give the house numbers by the front door, and the porch light, a little update. Those old numbers felt like they were straight out of the 70s:

    House numbers update

    So of course I did my homework browsing Pinterest (my kind of homework!). Then, I set to work creating a little board for our numbers and wiring in a new light. Oliver was a huge help: the numbers were annoyingly uncooperative and "electrician" is far from something I can claim. 

    Next, a slightly bigger project: updating our fireplace. I knew from the first time we walked through the house that this would be one of the first projects I tackled. Just look at that original 1970s brass fireplace! 

    Living Room Fireplace

    Before we moved in, the fireplace was dusty and had a brass surround. The shelves looked like an after thought and the shutters.... made me shudder. 

    Before we moved in, the fireplace was dusty and had a brass surround. The shelves looked like an after thought and the shutters.... made me shudder. 

    This had to be addressed-- ASAP! Honestly I hated the old brick so much that it felt like I had nothing to loose. I removed the old shelves, and that brass, so that I could refinish everything. While those were out, I white washed the brick.

    At first, as the white wash was drying, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. But I took a few deep breaths, reminded myself of how terrible the brick looked in the first place, and kept going. 

    Next, I spray painted the old surround. Lucky for me, our surround is a total facade and is actually stuck on using magnets, which meant I could just pop it off and take it outside. This is important because the paint it was going to use can emit a lot of fumes! If you plan to spray paint your surround, see if it can be removed.

    Please forgive my mid-construction-zone mess of a coffee table that proves that yes this is real life. While you're at it please forgive my crooked camera phone pic. 😜

    Please forgive my mid-construction-zone mess of a coffee table that proves that yes this is real life. While you're at it please forgive my crooked camera phone pic. 😜

    As you can see from the picture above, at this point I also applied wall paper to the wall on either side of the fireplace. Now, before we get too far, I NEVER in my life thought I'd be a proponent of wall paper. But when I started thinking about the built in shelves I knew I needed a way to make them look more built in-- not just stuck there. I had actually priced out what it would take to do wood paneling behind them, but then discovered this "reclaimed wood wallpaper" which only cost me $30. This was another "Let's just give it a shot" moment, and I bought the wallpaper. 

    Up it went! With a learning curve. My parents actually came over for dinner the next day and for a few moments they thought it was real wood, so I'm going to say the wallpaper was a success. 

    After all of that, I spent what was pretty much a whole weekend sanding down the old shelves to reveal their hard wood grain. Then, I stained them with a "natural" stain and put them back where they started. 

    I also tacked on a bit of molding in matching stain above the shelves to help them look more built in. 

    Oh yea, and I painted the right-hand wall a blue-grey, and made new cabin-inspired pillow covers:

    White washed brick fireplace

    The LAST fireplace update was to add a mantelpiece. It wasn't in the original plan but once all of the brick was white I decided something was needed. My dad, the engineer, helped me bolt on this piece of wood my friend Thomas found on his mountain property. I gave the top a good sanding and stained it like the shelves.

    The fireplace: whitewashed, painted surround, installed reclaimed wood mantle, refinished shelves. 

    The fireplace: whitewashed, painted surround, installed reclaimed wood mantle, refinished shelves. 

    Now, we still have tons to do! We want to update our coffee table and come up with a better solution for the stereo and TV. I'm still toying with ideas for those shutters. And that popcorn ceiling. So far though, I'm pretty proud of our work! 

    Have you ever done a similar project? How did it go? 

    Comment

    Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

    Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

    Utah captured my heart this Spring. Spring in Utah is a funny thing-- not really spring, March in the desert is more like half winter and half summer.  

    When the morning wakes you, you’ll find your sleeping bag pulled as high around your head as it can go, covering your cheeks and leaving just enough space so to breath. Eventually, motivated by the thought of coffee, or tea, or anything warm, you'll peek out, and see the snow, still coming down in oversized flakes that fall impossibly slow. Lighting that two-burner camping stove will never sound so good.  

    Outside, there is a different view in every direction, but all of them will make you feel small — just a tiny human, standing on a slice of something far too large to imagine. Cliffs, a deep crimson color, tower above. They sit gallantly on piles of sand, like the earth's version of sandcastles, displaying layer on layer of dirt. Each layer seems to expose something about the world, every band of sand marking an era of the past. At their feet grow short and twisted juniper trees, struggling to grow.  

    Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe
    Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

    When the water boils, and you pull it from the stove, the pot will spout a tower of steam into the air above, melting the snow as it falls. When you turn around, you’ll see a mountain range all Coloradans know well, crisp and white, capped with ice. They look bigger from Utah, surrounded by flat plains, deep rifts, and the occasional rock spire. You’ll know what I mean when you see it for yourself: it’s as if those mountains scrape the clouds off of the sky, catching them on their peaks and hanging on.  

    The snow will eventually stop (it’s spring, after all), and the unshielded sun will melt every white patch away. The desert sand will suck up any moisture that remains, and by 10 the ground will be dry again, as if nothing happened. That's when you’ll sit back in a folding chair, a rich mug of homemade hot chocolate in hand.  

    There is nothing to feel other than awe. Belittled by the jagged, barren canyons and cliffs on one side, humbled by the majestic peaks to the other. Small-- small and awestruck. 

    Here is a beverage to drink on those chilly mornings at camp, or around the campfire in the evening — Double chocolate Hot Cocoa. It’s made with bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder (that’s the “double” part). Dehydrated milk adds creaminess, so even when you’re out exploring you don’t have to remember the milk! Though, if you are are really prepared, top your mug with a dollop of whipped  cream or marshmallows, and consider a splash of whiskey. Sitting around the campfire has never been so sweet!

    (By the way — adding a scoop to your coffee is a very good idea. Mocha, here I come!)

    Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

    Published March 27, 2016 by
       Print This Recipe

    Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1-3 tablespoons coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you would like your cocoa — 1 for not very sweet, 3 for more sweet)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup dehydrated non-fat milk powder
  • To make cocoa: 8 ounces of water; and whipped cream or marshmallows for serving

  • Directions:

    1. Place coconut sugar, salt, and chocolate in blender or food processor and pulse until a fine powder is formed.
    2. Add cocoa powder and milk powder, and pulse blender again, just until everything is incorporated.
    3. Store cocoa mix in a air-tight jar.
    4. To make cocoa: Bring 8 ounces of water to a boil. Whisk 2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mix with the water until dissolved. (To get the froth shown in the images, use a hand-held milk aerator). Pour cocoa into mug, and top with whipped cream or marshmallows as desired.

    2 Comments