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Monday, June 13, 2011

Green Goes Simple: Eco-eating: Homemade Granola

homemade granolaImage by little blue hen via Flickr

Eco-eating: Homemade Granola

By Sara Kramer for Green Goes Simple

What could be greener than granola? Whip up your own batch: It’s planet-friendlier than the store-bought stuff -- and just as tasty! Fortunately, making homemade granola couldn’t be easier. Scrap the packaging, save some dollars and go green-ola with our recipe.

Maple-pecan and coconut-cashew are classic combinations, but don’t hesitate to get fancy with sesame seeds or a pinch of cayenne. This is your homemade granola -- customize as you see fit!

Homemade Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  1. In a bowl, combine rolled oats (barley and quinoa flakes are a nice variety) with nuts and seeds of your choosing.
  1. In another bowl, combine oil or butter with a sweetener. (Think brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.)
  1. Warm the bowl to melt butter and dissolve sugar. (Note: An oil-and-maple syrup combination won’t require heat.)
  1. Pour the sweetener over oats and mix well, adding salt and/or spices to taste. Pour enough so your granola is saturated, with no pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl.
  1. Spread the mixture out onto parchment-lined pans in even, thin layers. Toast slowly at 275 F until dry.
  2. Once cool, break the bunches apart and add dried
    fruits. Pack away into airtight containers and enjoy for weeks!

Sara Kramer is a chef and butcher in Brooklyn, N.Y., who attended NYU and the Natural Gourmet Institute. She believes we should all think more about where our food comes from.

Green Goes Simple: The Green Scoop


Green Lessons From Kids

By Andrea Kasprzak for Green Goes Simple

Planet-friendly parenting has never been easier: You can shop for sustainable baby clothes online, scour blogs for healthy recipes and chat with other green-minded moms on discussion boards. But don’t forget about the tiny resource residing right under your roof!

As conservation becomes a regular part of the school day, kids are taking the knowledge home with them and becoming eco-advocates and educators in the household. Just in time for Mother’s Day, three moms share their favorite nuggets of eco-wisdom from the youngest members of their families.

As the CEO of a site that sells organic green cosmetics and body care products, Tara Verkuil epitomizes the eco-chic lifestyle. Still, she finds herself amazed at the wealth of knowledge she gains from her daughter, Lucy. “Lucy came home and informed me that, although she should eat all of her dinner, it didn’t matter because it all turned to dirt anyway. It took me a few moments to realize that she was referring to composting, which she is now really into. I have no doubt soon we will be doing it here. She reminds me that only things that come from the earth should go in there!”

Tracey Post, mother of three, says she’s completely changed the way she shops for groceries because of her oldest daughter’s interest in local, organic fare. “Per my daughter’s suggestion and research, we now receive a monthly shipment of fresh, local produce. As a family, we try to incorporate the veggies into new recipes together.”

Randee Kildow has learned from her daughter to rely more heavily on consignment boutiques and second-hand shopping. “They are really a great way to recycle clothes that weren’t worn very much. I’ve also discovered they can be a great option if you are looking for a special-occasion dress that probably won’t be worn more than once.”

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/morganl

Andrea Kasprzak is a full-time freelance writer. Her work has appeared in Allure, Men's Journal, Teen Vogue, SELF and Pregnancy, among other publications.