We do our best at Happy Acres to eat homegrown, homemade and local. We grow the majority of our vegetables, herbs and fruit ourselves. We also preserve all we can, mostly by freezing and dehydrating. We make our own yogurt, and next year we are going to make even more of our own bread and baked goods. We don’t really do all this to save money, though we do save a lot. Rather, by doing it ourselves, we know our food personally. We know what goes in our food (real food, without a bunch of additives), and we also know what doesn’t go into it (harmful chemicals and genetically modified ingredients).
And frankly, homegrown food just tastes better. Once you’ve tasted homegrown asparagus, for instance, it’s hard to go back to the out of season stuff you often see in the grocery that has been shipped in from who-knows-where. If you’re looking for taste, it pays to either grow it yourself, or find a local grower at a farmer’s market who chooses varieties based on taste and not just on high yields or other factors. I realize not everyone can grow as much of their food as we do, but going homemade is another story.
Lately I have been making homemade granola. With a few ingredients and about an hour’s worth of work you can make it too. This basic recipe can be altered with different selections of dried fruits, nuts and seeds to make countless combinations. Since oats are the main ingredient, it pays to get good quality ones. I like the extra thick or “old-fashioned” rolled oats, which make a nice crunchy granola. This granola is great by itself, or do like I do and sprinkle it on top of your yogurt at breakfast time.
Blueberry Walnut Granola Print This Recipe
A Happy Acres Original
2/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw, unsalted
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 cup dried blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Combine apple juice concentrate, honey, oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
3. Mix oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds and flaxseed meal in large mixing bowl. Pour juice mixture into bowl and stir until well mixed.
4. Spread granola evenly over two baking sheets. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 5-6 minutes, until lightly browned.
5. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks. Stir 1/2 cup blueberries into granola on each sheet. Allow to cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container.
(1/2 cup each)
Nutrition (per serving): 320 calories, 117 calories from fat, 13.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 71.5mg sodium, 109.1mg potassium, 46.3g carbohydrates, 7.6g fiber, 14.9g sugar, 6.7g protein, 113.5mg calcium, 1.3g saturated fat.