Blueberry Almond Pecan Breakfast Cereal Granola

Friday, November 17th, 2017

2017-11-12 - Blueberry Granola - 0003 [flickr]

In one of her most recent care packages, my mom included a few boxes of hippy-dippy cereal that I totally got hooked on. It’s not exactly a cereal in the traditional sense of the word – or at least not how I think of it – but rather a mix of cereal-type flakes, nuts, dried fruit, and granola. It’s almost like a granola mix watered down with cereal. Anyway, it’s sweet and delicious and even though I extended its life by mixing it in sparingly with my bran flakes – just enough to spice them up – it was gone way too soon.

I decided to approximate the experience by making my own granola-cereal mashup. This recipe has all the regular granola ingredients – rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts – along with a few types of store-bought cereal, just for fun. Normally I go with dried cranberries or homemade apple slices for the fruit portion of the mix, but I just couldn’t resist trying out the dried blueberries gifted to me by Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit! (If you worry that your dried fruit will get a little too dry during baking, you can always mix it in at the end.)

Though this stuff takes the better part of an afternoon to make, the end result is so worth it: sweet* and savory granola, made to your own specifications, and for a fraction of the price of store-bought stuff. The cornucopia of fruit, nuts, and other goodies in this granola really make it stand out from some of the other versions I’ve made. And yes, it works wonders for ye ole boring bran flakes!

* But not too sweet: if you really want a cavity-maker, double the maple syrup, or add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar!
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Wonderfully Walnutty Banana Bread, Two Ways

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

What’s a gal to do when suddenly she finds herself in possession of a ten-pound bag of walnuts? (Thanks, Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit!) Make banana bread, of course! (Bananas + walnuts are my favorite.)

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I started out with the classics: soft, spongy banana bread laced with a generous helping of chocolate chips and walnuts. Delish!

I could have stopped after polishing off that loaf in record time, but a) I still had a half of bunch of rapidly blackening bananas and b) I wanted to try a loaf out on Mags, the littlest and oldest of my dog-kids. Over the past few years, she’s slowly been shedding weight, to the point that she now looks almost painfully thin. Thankfully, I think this is more a result of her fussy eating habits than a health problem. I thought I was doing good by letting her eat as much as she wanted and not pushing her – so as to not make mealtimes a horror show – but apparently not. My new strategy is a mix of good cop/bad cop: cajole her to eat a set amount at every mealtime, but also mix things up with new and exciting foods.

2017-04-02 - Mags aka Noodle - 0006 [flickr]

The result? Five different kinds of kibble in my cupboard, not to mention a bunch of canned food, and specially prepared dishes like roasted sweet potatoes, tofu battered in nutritional yeast, and sweet and sour soy curls. She is so spoiled, you guys.

2017-10-17 - Banana Bread - 0008 [flickr]

Mags is especially fond of baked goods, including banana bread. Since walnuts are a big no-no for dogs, I kept the batter kind of basic, without any add-ins. Instead, I dressed things up in the form of a topping, borrowed from the Big Boat Banana Bread from Laura Dakin’s Cookin’ Up a Storm. That way, I got the top half, Mags the bottom, and we were both as happy as clams in a vegan ocean town.

Recipes after the jump!

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