Healthy Eating: Homemade granola is parfait perfect

Yogurt ParfaitI have been busy working in my garden and enjoying the good weather we have been having. I always seem to get a late start in the vegetable part of my garden, but this year I have peas, arugula, baby lettuce, dill, parsley, kale and Swiss chard emerging already. The peas were a bit late, but I am confident that I will get a good crop. I am still using raspberries that I picked last summer and froze and I am eagerly awaiting the new crop. I love to use raspberries in anything I can think of….salad dressings, baked goods and especially smoothies. Of late, I have been enjoying a simple and easy Greek yogurt parfait with fruit….bananas, raspberries, blueberries, and the lovely strawberries that are starting to arrive.

I have become quite fond of making my own homemade granola. Maybe because I have strong memories of making it with my mother when I was growing up. I loved the smell of it as it baked in the oven. What is wonderful about granola is that you can add what you like to customize it—which if you have been following my column you know is my “style”. If you like walnuts use them. Maybe you prefer almonds or walnuts. You choose. I prefer NOT to use dried fruits because I find that they don’t mix well with the fresh fruits that I enjoy in my yogurt parfaits. This is a wonderful treat for Mother’s Day!

GRANOLA YOUR WAY

6 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (I prefer using Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups of unsweetened coconut (chips or ground)
3 cups chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds….you mix and match)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup maple syrup (I married a French-Canadian…what can I say?!)
2/3 cup olive oil, canola oil or coconut oil (again your choice) If you use coconut oil, you will need to liquify it by warming it gently.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Add the maple syrup and oil, stir to evenly coat all of the ingredients. Divide the mixture between two parchment lined rimmed baking pans. Spread it out on the pan and put in the oven to bake. Stir the granola and flip around the pans at least twice during the baking process until golden brown. It will take about 35-45 minutes. Check on it every 15-20 minutes and you’ll know it is done when the whole mixture is golden brown. You must allow the granola to cool COMPLETELY. Then put it in an airtight container. I store it at room temperature because it gets eaten fairly quickly. If this is not the case in your household, then divide the recipe in half or freeze half of the granola.

Yogurt Parfait

Simply layer Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. You will find the perfect proportions by experimentation. I tend to go heavier on the fruit and use the granola as a condiment. In addition, I like to layer in ground flaxseed and oat bran for extra fiber.

Deborah Binder Formal Portrait— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and currently chef assists at PCC Cooks and NuCulinary Cooking School. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at jaideborah@yahoo.com.

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