January 25, 2017

baked apple cranberry walnut oatmeal + my favorite homemade granola

 Gosh we love oats. We eat oats in various ways for breakfast. And do we even need to talk about the glories of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? I like to incorporate oats into my crumb toppings on muffins and cobblers so that I can feel proud that there's a healthy element among all of the eggs, sugar, and white flour. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

But THESE are two of our absolute favorite ways to eat oatmeal. Baked apple cranberry walnut oatmeal and an easy homemade granola that we eat with greek yogurt and berries. Good stuff, y'all. Both are easy. Both are heart healthy. And we know that that means...you can eat cobbler because you were mindfully responsible with your breakfast choice. Ying and yang.

BAKED APPLE CRANBERRY WALNUT OATMEAL

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Euna Mae’s baking blend (or just use cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the dish
2 tart but sweet apples, peeled and cut into ½ cubes
       
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a deep 2.5qt baking dish with butter.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, ½ cup of the nuts, dried cranberries, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. In another bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk; then whisk in the half and half and vanilla until combined. Add the cream mixture to the oat mixture, and stir in the melted butter. Spread the chopped apples evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the oatmeal mixture on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup nuts on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are set. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
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MY FAVORITE HOMEMADE GRANOLA

2 1/2 cups oats (not instant!)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pecan chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
pinch of salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Set the oven to 325F. Combine dry granola ingredients in a big bowl. Then in a small saucepan over medium low heat, stir together the oil and honey until they are melted and combined. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over the granola in the bowl, tossing to coat. Spread granola on a large sheet pan, and bake in oven for 10 minutes. Toss gently and return to bake another 10 minutes. Then turn oven to 375F and bake granola another 5 minutes. Remove, pour out on a sheet of parchment to cool. Then store in an airtight container!