Good-bye Kashi, we’ll miss you… Hello, Granola!

Since going plastic free some of our regular purchases have been nixed from our shopping list. We used to eat Kashi shredded wheat squares for a quick breakfast and sometimes as a late night snack. It was organic and healthy with not a lot of sugar, and even though it was in a cardboard box we weren’t okay with the packaging since the inner bag was made of plastic! Our response was, Is the plastic bag really necessary? The way we see it, all it does is add to the shelf life of the product, meaning that the manufacturer —Kellogg’s now owns Kashi–can keep it on the shelf much longer than it really should be there. What if Kellogg’s decided to use a waxed paper bag instead? It could still stay on the shelf for just as long. Or, even better, if they decided to sell the delicious squares in bulk instead of in boxes, eliminating the need for packaging all together. Kellogg’s executives, if your reading our blog (which we both doubt), we’re asking you to start selling your cereals in bulk. We’re not anti-corporation, we just think that there’s a better way to sell your products and eliminate the need for unnecessary plastic and paper.

A weekday morning breakfast; granola and bananas in milk.

The bulk section at our grocery store, Rainbow Grocery, sells only granola and muesli. I make my own muesli, so I thought how hard can it be to make granola. I found out it’s not hard at all. With Martha Stewart’s granola recipe as a blue-print, I started on my own recipe with items I had on hand. I’m sure Martha’s is just as good, if not better, and one day, when I have all the ingredients, I’ll give it a try. For now though, what follows is my granola recipe. Use it as a morning cereal with milk or yogurt, an ice cream topping, or just eat a handful as a snack. However you eat it I hope you’ll enjoy the “healthy” benefits of the cereal.

This is the reason we don’t start a home business. Even Moe likes our granola.

Granola (Version I)

2 tablespoons light flavor oil (canola, grapeseed, etc.)
5 cups oats
¼ cup flax seeds
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup agave syrup (or honey)
1 orange (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cranberries
½ cup currants or raisins
½ cup dehydrated coconut

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil two sheet pans with 1 tablespoon oil each. Toss the oats, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Heat the maple syrup, agave syrup (or honey), orange juice and zest, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, until barely starting to boil. Toss the syrup with the oat mixture and spread out between the sheet pans.

Place the sheet pans in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture and rotating the pans every 15 minutes. Allow the granola to cool on the pans. Put the toasted granola in the large bowl with the cranberries, currants or raisins, and coconut. Toss everything together and store in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for at least 2 weeks.

Cheers, Jason & Steve