Tag Archives: Granola

Gluten & Dairy Free Eggnog Spice Granola

6 Dec

Last night I watched this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show online for nearing on the 5th time since it aired on November 29th.  I can’t help it, it’s one of my favorite things about the holiday season!  I wait all year for it, wondering what lingerie hybrids will come down the runway on impossibly thin, fit & toned, not to mention LUCKY models who get to call themselves angels. #SignMeUpForThat

Favorite outfit the of the night? As it happened, it was the outfit that opened the show during the Ballet Segment, and it only 35% had to do with the fact that it was worn by Candice.  Probably going to have to sport some of those red ballet wrap pumps at some point in my life this season! Thoughts?  Ya, they’re amazing.

Needless to say, since then I’ve been perusing the Victoria’s Secret Site for the Runway Ready Video features that have been popping up in my Facebook queue, forcing me to face the idea of forgoing holiday sweets in attempts to acquire something similar to the angels’ fit physiques.   Upon further investigation, I’ve discovered that much like sitting in the lobby of the gym rather than working out won’t get you in shape, watching girls with the hottest bodies on the planet over and over without working out will also probably not cut it.  Unforch.  About to step it up, big time!

Ironically, (especially after just talking about busting my butt to look  like a  VS Angel Re: Wishful thinking, haha! ;p ) I also look forward to the Trader Joe’s Holiday Edition of the Fearless Flyer!  I stopped in the other day JUST to pick one of these up, regardless of the fact that it can be easily found and read, and perused online.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s dedication.  It’s filled with the yummiest holiday treats one could dream up, and I couldn’t help but see eggnog-flavored goodies dancing through my head.  It’s one of my all-time favorite holiday flavors!  It’s possible, even, that I look forward to it more than the TJ’s Flyer.  Gasp!  One problem- dairy hates me.  Time to take matters into my own hands!

First, though, let’s take a step back, I’ve got one more…

Another favorite aspect of the holiday season?  It’s pretty simple, but then again, it often doesn’t take much more than a festive holiday coffee cup to get me humming holiday tunes the rest of the day.  Starbucks holiday cups!  Pop in and get yourself a hot cup of Joe, tea, or you know, even water, so long as you ask for it in their hot to-go cups!  I mean, check it out….SO CUTE!  Worth it.

So where was I?  Probably talking about eggnog because it’s delicious!  I’ve been obsessed with it as far back as I can remember, and now I feel it’s my duty to incorporate it into as many baked goodies as possible this holiday season!

TA DA!  Eggnog Granola.

Eggnog Spice Granola

While this granola definitely has a yummy hint of eggnog, I was hoping for even more.  Next time, I might up the Eggnog Syrup and the SoyNog, and decrease the honey a little to let it really stand out.  That being said, if you are a nutmeg and eggnog lover, you will still enjoy this granola!  Dairy free, and can definitely be made gluten free if you make sure to use gluten-free oats! It’s a must-make for the holiday season!


* 5 Cups Gluten Free Old-Fashioned Oats
* 3 Cups Crispy Rice Cereal
* 1 Cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
* 1 Cup Almonds, roughly chopped
* 1/2 Cup Whole Golden Flax Seeds
* 1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
* 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
* 1 tsp Salt
* 1 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
* 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice

* 3/4 Cup Honey
* 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
* 1/2 Cup Torani Italian Eggnog Syrup
* 1/4 Cup SoyNog (I used Silk Brand)
* 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
* 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
* 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 325*F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all the wet ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, together in a separate, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals, making sure the mixture comes to a boil by the end of 5 minutes. If it has not, heat an additional minute or 2, stirring between minutes and then add in the vanilla extract.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir well to combine. Pour out on the cookie sheet, spreading into an even layer and packing down slightly with a spatula or spoon.

Bake 20 minutes, then remove and push edge pieces inward to keep from burning. Bake an additional 20 minutes, removing at 10 minute increments to remove pieces that look brown. Make sure you bake the granola for at least 45 minutes total, adding 5 minute increments to the end if it does not seem golden brown enough.

Remove from oven and allow the granola to sit on the pan without stirring until COMPLETELY COOLED! This part is important, since it needs to cool as a solid sheet. Once cooled, break apart into large chunks and enjoy! (Obviously at this point you can break it into smaller pieces instead if you’d prefer)


Yummy, crunchy, and perfectly paired with a coffee or latte served in the cutest holiday cups of all time!

Kicking off the holidays in the best way possible! =)

Pumpkin Spice Granola

21 Nov

I feel like I’m guest-blogging for my own blog today, which makes no sense.


In actuality, I’m just writing from a different computer since apparently, yet unbeknownst to me, I managed to get the spontaneous combustion feature on my laptop and had to send it in for repair the SECOND time in two years. Now, don’t get me wrong, in the winter it’s nice to have a built-in lap-warmer…to a point, but when it starts to rev its processor with the force and sound of what I can only describe as a jet engine rather than a melodic hum, and the smell of melting plastic fills the air, it’s pretty much a different story altogether.


Needless to say, I’ve been without my computer for a week now, during what is without a doubt the busiest time of the school quarter, and I can only hope Dell gets it together this time and sends my computer back fresh and new!


On that note, Thanksgiving week is upon us! I’m usually pretty amazed and envious that some working folk get not just Wednesday, but the ENTIRE week off! That’s something I’m absolutely not used to, since I’m usually plugging away in non-canceled classes up until Wednesday evening, just in time to head home and hit inevitable, massive amounts of holiday traffic. However, I lucked out this year, and come Tuesday evening, I’ll be home free, ready to prepare for the arrival of Turkey Claus =)


In the mean time, I’ve continued the pumpkin theme with none other than pumpkin spice granola, because let’s face it, nothing says fall quite like pumpkin. And spices. And granola? Go with it. It’s a super yummy, tweaked up version of my Half-Marathon Training Granola (which, by the way, I still haven’t put to marathon training use yet! I know…), and it makes your kitchen smell better than any of those holiday scented spray thingies ever could! Done deal.

Pumpkin Spice Granola


* 4 Cups Old-fashioned oats
* 2 Cups Rice Crispies
* 1 Cup Raw Spanish Peanuts
* 1 Cup Pecans, roughly chopped
* 1/4 Cup Golden flax seeds
* 1/4 Cup Shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
* 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
* 1 tsp Salt
* 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
* 1 Cup dried cranberries, raisins, or whatever you like
* 3/4 Cup Pumpkin puree (from a can)
* 1/2 Cup Maple syrup
* 2/3 Cup Packed brown sugar
* 4 Tbsp Olive oil
* 2 Tbsp Peanut butter (or almond butter would work!)
* 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325*F and line a baking sheet with parchments paper or a silpat.

Combine all of the dry ingredients, except for the cranberries, in a large bowl.

Stir together all of the wet ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, in a separate, microwave safe bowl. Microwave about a minute, then stir, and heat 2-4 more minutes until bubbly, depending on the strength of your microwave. Mine took about 5 minutes total.
Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture, and stir, stir, stir! Combine well, and then pour the mixture onto prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and move browner, edge areas inward. If you like crumbly granola, you can stir it all up on the pan. If you like chunks of granola like I do, try to only move the brown edges and leave the rest of it in tact. Bake another 10-20 minutes, checking at 5 minute intervals so it doesn’t burn! Remove and let cool FULLY. At this point, if you stirred the whole pan, you will have loose granola, and if you didn’t stir it, break it up into large chunks.

Stir in the dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container, probably for about a week…maybe two? I have no idea if it will keep beyond about 5 days, actually, haha 😉

Cat tested, cat approved!

On the other hand, someone is caged this morning, and clearly NOT amused… =p

I hope your short work/school week kicks off with a great Monday!

Half-Marathon Training Granola

21 Sep

I’m FINALLY back! All that moving took a lot out of me. Time to fall back in to all this madness…;)


So, I’m going to level with you: I’m not a runner. I’ll never rarely lie and tell you that.

That’s all about to change. Ok, it’s not going to change at all, but I’m going to fake it. About a month ago, I decided on a whim that I’m going to run a half-marathon, and believe me, I’m as surprised as you are. I know what you’re thinking, but there’s probably no way you’re going to talk me out of it.

What’s that, you say, that’s a ridiculously long distance? Totally. It takes a ton of motivation, endurance, will power, and let’s face it, running? You’re absolutely right. My stubbornness might finally come in handy! You say jump, and I probably won’t ask “how high?”, but you say there’s no chance, and I’ll probably do my darndest to prove you wrong.

And so it begins! I don’t know which half I’d like to sign up for, nor have I chosen a training plan or decided how long it’s going to take me to feel ready to run 13+ miles yet (is forever too long?), so I’ve definitely still got some research to do- any suggestions or tips anyone is willing to offer would be much appreciated! In the mean time, I’m gearing up to include a bunch of half-marathon training-worthy recipes for meals and snacks as I go through the process! Trust me, I’m going to need all the help I can get!

Half-Marathon Training Granola (AKA Berry & tropical preserves granola)

This granola is super yummy and versatile- add in whatever nuts and seeds you like or have on hand.  Also, I loved the snacky clumpy cluster factor I got with less stirring at baking intervals, but you can definitely crumble it down if you like to use it as a cereal or yogurt topping.  Also, this is a doubled recipe…so it makes a lot.

* 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
* 1 cup puffed rice cereal
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut
* 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
* 1 cup raw peanuts
* 1/4 cup flax seeds
* 1/4 cup sesame seeds

* 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) berry preserves (I used marionberry jam)
* 6 Tbsp tropical flavored preserves (I used homemade pineapple orange which was thin)
* 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) oil (any type of oil will work, I used canola since it was on hand)
* 2/3 cup brown sugar

* Cranberries, raisins, any kind of dried fruit you like, any amount you like- I left them out this time, but to be honest, it’s just because I forgot! Oops.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Preheat oven to 325* F.

Stir all of the dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl.

Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a separate, microwave safe bowl. Microwave for a couple minutes at a time, until boiling.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir to combine well.

Dump the mixture onto the baking sheet and smooth into an even layer. It will be a fairly thick layer if you’re using a standard-sized baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes, then stir lightly. Bake another 20 minutes, then gently move browner edge portions inward to keep them from burning. Bake an addition 10 minutes or so until golden brown. Don’t overdo it! I didn’t stir much at each interval and ended up with awesome granola clusters!

Let cool on the pan, then break into whatever size clusters you like. Store in an airtight container on the counter for as long as it actually lasts. You could also store it in the freezer if you don’t think you’ll eat it all within a few weeks.

Totally will run for granola 😉

Almond Butter Granola

11 Aug

I’m moving in a few weeks. Anyone who has ever moved before will probably agree that it’s one of the LEAST enjoyable tasks in life.

Actually, let me rephrase that. PACKING and then UNPACKING all of my crap precious stuff is the worst part, while actually being in a new place doesn’t bother me.

In fact, if you know me, you know I like to change things up pretty often if I get the chance…I love the new possibilities and the change of scenery.

What does any of this have to do with granola? Nothing, now that I think about it. Nothing what-so-ever. But, granola is super yum-town and I finally didn’t burn this batch.

At this point in my stressful life, I have to celebrate the little things that make me happy! =)

Almond Butter Granola

This is an awesome recipe because it’s so versatile and you can throw in practically anything you want, or have on hand. I used cranberries, raisins, goji berries, odds & ends of cashews, pecans, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, and it turned out crunchy and not overly sweet- perfect!


* 2 Cups Old-fashioned Oats
* 1/2 Cup Mixed Nuts, roughly chopped (I used cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, and shelled pumpkin seeds)
* 1/2 Cup Uncooked Buckwheat
* 2 Tbsp Ground Flax
* 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
* 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
* 1/2 tsp salt

* 3 Tbsp Applesauce
* 3 Tbsp Almond Butter
* 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
* 1/8 Cup Honey, 1/8 Cup Maple Syrup (or all honey, all maple syrup, or even agave would work)
* 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
* 1/2 tsp Almond Extract

* 1/4 Cup Raisins
* 1/4 Cup Cranberries
* 1/8 Cup Goji Berries

Preheat oven to 325* F.

Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine wet ingredients except for the extracts in a separate, microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir to coat. The mixture will seem a little dry at first, but it will all come together!

Spread the mixture out evenly on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, stirring about every 5 minutes.

Let the mixture cool for 20 minutes, and then stir in your mix-ins.

Stored in an air-tight container, this should last for about a month, but it probably won’t…if you know what I’m saying! =)
(You can also make this gluten free by using gluten free oats)

I hope you’re all enjoying your week!

Excuse me while I go take a shot of granola (or three) and get back to packing.