Recipe: Crock-Pot Granola

Who knew that you could make granola in the crockpot?  Well, you can and it’s changed my breakfast routine.   I used to buy granola in the health food section of the grocery store, but there is so much sugar in most store-bought granola.  And a box of organic granola is not cheap.  Also, how frustrating is it to buy some “nutty crunch” cereal that has maybe one measly nut per every few spoonfuls?  Lame.  The best part of making granola at home, besides how easy and inexpensive it is, is that you can add as many nuts or fruits as you want.  Me, I like a little oats with my nuts and dried fruit but you can customize this recipe to your tastes by eliminating or reducing some off the add-ons.  This original recipe came from my sister on a trusty little 3×5 card that I’ve lovingly spilled on and wrinkled over the years.  That recipe only specified “oil” so canola oil or most others will work.  But I like coconut oil because of the taste and the great health benefits.  You have to be close by to stir it often so it doesn’t burn, so it’s a good recipe for a Sunday afternoon, or when you work from home.  Your kitchen will smell delicious while it cooks.

Ingredients

6 cups rolled oats
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger

 

Add-ons

½ cup each of the following — feel free to substitute and be creative:
dried cranberries
raisins
golden raisins
dried apple pieces
coconut flakes
pecan pieces
walnut pieces
pumpkin seeds

Put the first seven ingredients is a crock-pot and stir together.  Set the crock-pot on low for 2 hours.  Stir after the first 30 minutes, and then stir every 15 minutes after that, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot.  Cool completely, then stir in the add-on ingredients.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

 

 

Friday Favorite: 100% Pure Coconut Body Scrub

I have a lot of favorite things.  Favorite places, favorite reads, favorite products, favorite foods, favorite movies.  Actually as I write this I realize I should probably be more selective. Hmmm….

But alas, while these things are on my mind, I thought I’d share them with you on Fridays to kick off the weekend with a helpful recommendation.

My favorite non-toxic shower item is the Coconut Body Scrub by 100% Pure.  This is a California-based brand I researched when I was kicking my old, toxic-ingredient, skin-drying shower stuff to the curb.  100% Pure products are formulated with the knowledge that skin is our largest organ and we absorb toxins through it.  Therefore, the ingredients they use are all found in nature instead created with chemicals in labs.  And their products are made without animal testing — look for the ‘Cruelty Free’ bunny symbol on your products if this is something you care about.  The most amazing part of this company is that no fragrances are added to their products which blows my mind because they smell so good that I actually look forward to unscrewing the body scrub lid everyday.  It’s like my daily, at-home, luxurious spa moment.  It smells like dessert. And vacation.  All in one [recyclable!] plastic tub.  It felt a little oily on my skin when I first tried it, but I soon realized that it was the pure coconut oil, not an icky skin-clogging type of oil.  And after toweling off, I no longer felt oily.  Just blissfully moisturized.  My skin truly stays soft and smooth for a day after using it which means less of a need to slather on lotion.  The body scrub is not cheap, it runs about $22-28 (try Vitacost.com or Smile.Amazon.com).  But it lasts about a month even when used every day and I use it as sparingly as possible (whenever I accidentally drop a glob on the shower floor I practically cry).  If you’re in the market for a new scrub or body moisturizer, try it out.  You won’t regret it.