What’s not to love about a meal that can include pancakes, waffles, eggs, cheese, fruit and syrup? Well, I guess that’s not really recommended, but breakfast is a meal I love. I try to power walk, run or do yoga every weekday morning. And then I eat breakfast. This is my latest concoction for everyday eating.  Add milk or yogurt and fresh berries in the summer.

Granola and Yogurt Parfait

Fall Breakfast: 1/2 cup Granola, 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt, raisins

Beth’s Granola

6 cups of oatmeal (not instant or steel cut oatmeal) 
6 cups of puffy, whole grain cereal – my latest favorite is kamut
1-3 cups of assorted chopped or sliced nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans
1 1/2 cups peanut and/or almond butter
1/2 cup local honey (you’ll never have allergies again, I swear)
2/3 cup canola oil
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup apple butter
2 Tbs vanilla
1Tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups raisins

Making your own granola doesn’t take long and you will never go back to boxed crap again. You can control all the fun ingredients plus the sugar and the oil, so how can you go wrong. Once you’ve made this a few times, adjust the ingredients to your family’s tastes or health desires. Add syrup. Cut down the oil. Increase the banana and add flaked coconut and dried pineapple.

Preheat the oven to 300. Spread the oats, puffed cereal and nuts in two large, shallow baking pans. You need pans with sides. Don’t use a flat cookie sheet; it will be a huge mess. Bake for 15 minutes, then switch the pans and bake for another 15 minutes. This will give the granola a nice crunch before you add the fabulous coating. After you switch out the pans of nuts and grains, heat the nut butter, honey, oil, banana and apple butter in a sauce pan and whisk it all together until it’s smooth and hot. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk a little more and remove from heat. Remove the pans from the oven and glop half the goo on each pan and carefully mix it all together until the goo is evenly coating all the toasted grains and nuts. Alternate, cleaner method: Dump one pan of the toasted ingredients into a large bowl and add half the goo. Stir until everything is evenly coated. Spread the gooey toasted clumps back onto the pan. Repeat with second pan and rest of goo. Bake the pans of almost granola for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip everything around on the pans to keep things from burning. Bake a final 10 to 15 minutes. Check the pans and make sure the granola is the color you like. Cool the pans on racks and sprinkle the raisins over the warm granola. Definitely use your masterpiece as an excuse to buy a fun new cookie jar that you can keep right on your counter for easy snacking. Or breakfast.