Change is a brewin’.
It may be the anticipation of warmer seasons or it could be the new full-time mom gig. But, whatever it is prompted me to give my health a boost and give up the “DC.”
You may wonder what “DC” stands for. If you don’t know, that means you aren’t horribly afflicted with the addiction to the liquid gold that is Diet Coke.
I’ve gone a few days without my adored can of cold caffeine. I can’t focus. I am searching for common words. My photography has deteriorated. Prepping design files for my work has become THE most mundane task in the world. Make another recipe for the blog? Eh, maybe tomorrow.
In short, I am a super hot mess without my DC .
My DC habit was out of control. I was gulping down 3 of those bad boys a day! So, one day I just stopped buying it and then there was none in my house. I had to go completely cold turkey. For me, there was no other way.
Some bright mind once said, “it has to get worse before it gets better.” Therefore, I am moving forward and trying to replace my soda with healthier alternatives. Instead of reaching for my 6am DC, I am enjoying a decaf latte and a healthy breakfast. A few days per week I am enjoying this granola paired with vanilla yogurt.
I originally tried to make Alton Brown’s recipe for granola bars for snacks for the girls, but my first batch fortuitously crumbled into the most amazing granola I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know about you, but I like clumps in my granola. Are you with me? Sweet chunky bites of goodness with a little crunch and a little sweetness. This granola delivers when it comes to clumps and chunks for two reasons: 1) minimal mixing and 2) actively pressing the granola into a baking dish.
Aside from being tasty, this granola is packed with all sorts of healthy ingredients. Aside from common whole food ingredients such as oats, sunflower seeds and almonds, this recipe includes wheat germ, which is the nutritional part of the wheat berry. Wheat germ contains over two dozen vitamins and minerals and was described by Mayo Clinic as one of 10 great foods for a healthy lifestyle. (You can typically find wheat germ in your baking or cereal aisles. I used Bob’s Red Mill Raw Wheat Germ, which is about $2.99 for 16 oz.)
As you can see, this granola is a very clear departure from my old morning breakfast routine! This is going to be a staple in our house for a while, I think! I hope you like it!
- 2 old-fashioned (rolled oats)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup cranberries (more to taste if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9x13 inch glass baking dish and set aside.
- Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Over medium heat, mix and stir the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a small saucepan. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
- Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the oat mixture with the liquid mixture and add the dried fruit. Spread mixture into prepared 9x13 inch baking dish and evenly press the mixture into the dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Crumble into granola with preferred size clumps. Granola may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.