Pumpkin Spice Granola

The world of Wonderland is slowly getting back to normal (whatever that is). My leg is now doing some weight bearing and Range of Motion (ROM) is getting better. I still have pain at night when I sleep, so now I sleep with a pillow to elevate my knee when I sleep on my right side. When I sleep on my back I use it to relax both my legs. It props up my knee into it’s most comfortable position. When I sleep on my left it is used to keep my right leg from interacting with my left leg. For some reason they cannot touch when I sleep on my left.

Truth be told I haven’t slept with this many pillows or this much effort since I was pregnant and we know how fun that was. For those of you who do know. It was awful. I am terrible at being pregnant. Anyway… every morning I wake up sore and stiff and wonder will this get any better?

I have seen some progress. In one week I went from being able to bend my leg 90 degrees to 120 degrees. That is huge, or at least my therapist made me think it was. I can also straighten my leg another 9 degrees. That was last week. This week doesn’t feel like much progress. I felt stronger earlier this week but now I feel like I need my crutches. Perhaps I was trying to push things too quickly. I went from using my one crutch to using no crutches in one day. Now my hips are sore. I think I am over compensating in another area of my body. Just so you know, that getting rid of the crutch was singularly my idea as is bringing it back, in the evenings. I just feel so ridiculous using it. It doesn’t even feel like i am using it.

In my quest to over do things, I decided this would be a perfect time to bake, and cook, and shop etc. Not to mention work getting a little bit in the way of rest and relaxation and also the exercises that I am supposed to be doing.  I try to fit my ROM exercises in everyday as that is more important than strength, but the other stuff has been kind of hit and miss. Perhaps that is why I feel like I am plateauing. Also when I go to do the wall ball squat and stairs, I have a some abnormal pain so I don’t really want to do them.

While I was procrastinating everything I am supposed to do, I decided I would try to make some granola. I have been meaning to make it since before the wipeout. Being alone and bored for hours on end, you end up eventually, deciding to go through your to do list. Granola was on my to do list.

I was “walking” through the grocery store and saw HIGH PROTEIN granola and wondered what was in it that made it high in protein. When I turned over the package and read the ingredients list, I was still wondering. Not one ingredient in there would I have associated with “high in protein” and there was a few that I would associate with “bad for you”. I guess that is the chance we take when we don’t make our own. I totally get it though, my pantry right now is full of processed stuff just because it’s cheap, they’ll eat it, it’s easy, and I have been laid up.

Hmmm. I wonder for how much longer I can use my leg as an excuse.

Ahem.

So like I was saying, the stars combined, the planets aligned and as luck would have it I had some groceries that would go into a granola. I sort of followed a bunch of recipes and I kind of measured. Really Granola is like the kitchen sink of recipes. you can though anything remotely granola-ish into it and it’s going to turn out pretty good. When you need to clean out your pantry, make granola. I decided I would make Pumpkin Spice Granola. Some recipes I found had one making the granola in one’s crockpot, so I thought I would try that. After all , God invented crockpots to make life easier right?

Well for this particular situation, I would not use a crockpot. I am an impatient person and 4 hours, stirring granola every so often so it doesn’t burn, is a little annoying. Others have said they prefer the crockpot as it is more forgiving in the burning department. I however, like to cross things off my list and spending 4hours mindfully making something that could take 30-45 minutes, tops, is frustrating.  So I guess if you are easily distracted and tend to burn things, or you just live and die by your crockpot, then maybe that kind of granola will “toasting” will work for you. Needless to say, I started out in the crockpot, gave up and turned it off, so I could pick up my son from school, then put it on a parchmented baking sheet and finished it off.

So what went it? That’s  good question. It was like a week ago when I started this post and now I am starting to forget. Remember how I said I didn’t really measure or follow a recipe? Well here it goes.

Pumpkin Spice Granola:

In a large bowl (or crockpot as the case may be) combine:

5 cups large flake oats

1 cup wheat bran

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1 cup uncooked quinoa (weird I know, but a couple of recipes had it so I tried it)

1/2 Cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup sliced almonds

1 tsp each of Cinnamon and Ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Because I was originally making in a crockpot I also added 1&1/2 cups cranberries. If doing in the oven, leave them out and add them at the end.

I think thats about right. 🙂

Mean while in a small sauce pan, on low heat, melt 1/2  a cup coconut oil ( you can use vegetable oil instead) Then turn off the heat and set aside.

In another bowl (smaller) whisk 2 egg whites for about a minute Then whisk in the following:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)

The melted coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar  (or brown sugar)

and 2 tsp vanilla

Pour over the dry granola mixture and mix till evenly-ish coated. If using a crockpot, cook it on high for 4 hours stirring every 30 mins. If doing in the oven, preset you oven to 325 degrees F  and put it in for 10 min, stir, then for another 10 min, stir, and then another 10 min. It should be done. But if its not quite go another 10 minutes. The amount you actually have on your baking sheet can affect cooking time. Let it sit and cool on the pan.

There Done Like Dinner  Breakfast.

Put it in a sealable jar, and take pretty pictures of it. Then post it on Instagram or pin it on Pinterest. It’s what all the great granola chefs are doing these days. 😉

This post was to go up over 2 weeks ago. I was waiting to take pictures of my beautiful granola to add to the post, but life got busy and the granola got eaten. It was good, very good actually, but I think I could tweak it to be better. Maybe a Chocolate pumpkin granola. That might be a bit overboard. Next time I’ll take pictures. Promise

 

 

 

 

 

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Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Breakfast is hard for me. It’s hard for my family. I believe in breakfast but I’m not awake and not hungry. Neither are the boys, except for Tweedle D, he is always hungry. I’ve also noticed what my kids eat for breakfast really affects their focus at school and their ability to tolerate the day. This sucks, because it’s so easy to give them chocolate hazelnut spread or hand them a box of cereal and let them “make breakfast”.

So in my divine quest to feed my children better and make breakfast, we have tried some new things.  We have tried baked oatmeal, which is liked best out of all the oatmeals, but receives about a 3 out of 5 on the likeness scale. That will do once in a while, but it’s also important that my kids actually get the food in their bellies so I like to go with proven winners. This is where Banana Oatmeal Pancakes come in. They are quicker than french toast, gluten free, refined sugar free, and depending on the milk/ yogurt you use it can be dairy free. It has 3 eggs so it has a the protein needed to help my boys feel fuller and stay focused through the day. I got the recipe from here. She has the cute pictures if you need to see how they look. She also has many recipes that are fantastic so I would recommend checking her out anyway. Here is the recipe.

1Cup Milk (I use silk almond milk, but you can use what you have)

1/2 Cup Greek yogurt (I use whatever I have on hand even if it is flavoured)

2 Tablespoons Lemon juice

3 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 Banana

2 cups Large Flake Oats

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 Tablespoon Honey

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt (or whatever salt you have on hand)

1/2 Teaspoon  Baking Soda

2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Place all ingredients, except the last 3, in a blender (I have a crappy one and this still works) and let it run. Then add the salt, baking soda and baking powder and give it a quick blend. In the past I’ve put it all in at the same time and it still worked. Cook on a hot griddle and stay close by because these seem to cook faster than normal pancakes. At least the cook faster at my house. Top with yogurt berries or maple syrup. Delicious. Each pancake, if you make the smaller ones is roughly 90 calories. The batch I made this morning made 16 but they were not all the same size. Close. Thats why it’s roughly 90 calories.