Oatmeal Squared

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Orange

Orange who?

Orange you glad I made granola again?

 

If you are six years old or younger you might find this funny… at least my kids did.

The oatmeal saga continues here. If you are following us you know that I bought an enormous quantity of oatmeal at Costco last week (it was too good a deal to pass up!) and have been working hard to make a dent in it. Strangely, it seems to be multiplying instead of depleting. After several batches of muffins I still have a humongous amount in my pantry taunting me. Since my kids finally tired of my cheddar cheese muffins I thought I would try the obvious and make some granola.

Such an easy thing to create and I love that you can add lots of other ingredients to make it your own. Nuts, dried fruit, coconut, the list goes on and on. If you live within a five mile radius of us you might be getting a batch – we made A LOT.

Orange Granola

Ingredients

1 ½ tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. brown sugar

¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about ½ an orange)

½ tsp nutmeg

Pinch of salt

2 cups oats (old-fashioned, not instant)

½ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips

1 egg white, lightly beaten

¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)

1 cup Greek yogurt (optional)

 

Method

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted reduce heat and add oil, honey, brown sugar, orange juice, nutmeg, and salt. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside.

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In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips. Add in egg white and stir to combine well. (The egg white makes the oatmeal extra chunky. If you don’t want clusters you can omit the egg.) Pour the sugar mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to coat the oats.

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Spread the mixture on the baking sheet in one thin slab.

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Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until lightly browned. The granola will crisp as it cools. Let cool completely and break into chunks.

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At this point, you can stir in some dried fruit. We love cranberries but raisins would work well too. Sprinkle granola on some Greek yogurt (we prefer Fage but please don’t ask me how to pronounce it!)

IMG_8353And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “I love it, is this chocolate?”

Liam (age 5): “Can I have more for dessert?”

Dylan (age 5): “It doesn’t taste orange”

 

We were excited to be featured this week in The Daily Voice (Mamaroneck & Larchmont) – “Larchmont Mom Shares Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes on Blog”

 

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A Macaroon A Day…

… keeps the doctor away?

Yes, it’s true, as long as you add dark chocolate chips to them! (Note: this is the author’s own conclusion, not a proven medical fact)

Have you heard the great news about cocoa? For years it’s been known that dark chocolate had health benefits but doctors never knew exactly how the process occurred. They have recently discovered it’s all due to our gut bacteria breaking down the cocoa, releasing heart-healthy compounds into our system – sounds appetizing doesn’t it? Well, if a doctor says I should be eating chocolate every day for its anti-inflammatory benefits who am I to argue?

In the next few weeks there’ll be an abundance of chocolate in all shapes and sizes showing up in our house. Since we celebrate both Easter and Passover there will be Easter eggs, marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, jelly rings and macaroons. I never met a Peep I didn’t like but I might just leave those to the kids and have some “medicine” instead, in the form of macaroons.

I’ve been working on this recipe for weeks and think I finally hit the right combo. I’m going to amp up the health factor by adding dried fruit and almonds; more antioxidants and healthy fats never hurt anyone. I started these early in the season because I know once those chocolate bunnies show up, my macaroons will ultimately be ignored by my little guys. But for now they’re still excited to try each batch as I experiment.

Fruit & Nut Macaroons

Ingredients

¼ cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)

½ cup almonds

2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes (about 7oz)

3 egg whites

¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cranberries and almonds in a food processor until finely ground.

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Add coconut and egg whites to the cranberry/almond mix and then combine in processor for several minutes until the mixture is the consistency of a paste. Scrape down the sides of the processor as needed. Add the chips at the end and just pulse a few times to combine the chips with the coconut mixture. You don’t want to break up the chips too much, just combine them.

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Place mixture in a bowl and using a tablespoon measure out small mounds on the baking sheet.

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If the mixture is sticking to the spoon simply dip the spoon in warm water between each spoonful.

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Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes until edges are browned and crispy. Let cool and enjoy!

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Recipe yields about 15 macaroons. Store in airtight container for up to a week.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “This batch is the best yet, can we stop now?”

Liam (age 4 11/12): “What’s a macaroon? I like the chips only”

Dylan (age 4 11/12): “It’s deeelightful”

Move over Manischewitz!

And if you like your macaroons with the chocolate on the outside instead of inside, check out this recipe from fellow blogger, The Hungry Mum, it’s a good one.

 

 

GORP

Heading out for a hike this Fall? Don’t forget to bring some GORP!

See our latest post on Kidville: Voices from the Ville! –

A Tasty Recipe for the Perfect Fall Day

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