Thursday, February 19, 2009

Almond Vanilla Granola

When I was growing up, my mom was smack dab in the middle of the “health food craze.” I’m not sure if that’s a product of the fact that she was a runner and a mother of young children and as both, she thought about food in a different way. Or if it was just a general consensus of the time. I'm pretty sure though, that having young children and being a runner was probably the beginning of her seeing food more as fuel for your body than just feeding your cravings. She was ahead of her time with the whole disdain over heavily sugared and processed foods. And since I grew up with it from the start, it didn’t bother me as much as the rest of the family…

The only bread I ever had growing up was wheat bread and that was when the ONLY kind of wheat bread available was Roman Meal. I distinctly remember the very first time I had white bread. I was in the 3rd grade… I was at my friend’s Christin’s house and her mom made us peanut butter sandwiches.

I was completely disgusted! Yuck!!! This bread is so mushy that it sticks to the roof of your mouth! It was so different than the hearty wheat bread I’d had before, that I couldn’t believe people preferred white bread to wheat bread. I continued to dislike white bread, until finally… I’d had it so much at friends houses, that I actually started to gain a taste for it. (It’s best with mayo, deli ham and of coursed... crushed potato chips in the sandwich.)

That was how I found out about “normal” foods… at friend’s houses. I mean… I couldn’t believe that people had chocolate chips in their pancakes and fruit loops for cereal. All we were allowed for breakfast was Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Total, Oatmeal, or toast (wheat, of course). We NEVER had cokes around or even boxes of cookies… if we wanted cookies, my mom would whip up a batch and you better believe they had some oatmeal and maybe some whole wheat flour and god knows whatever else she could find to throw in there to make them healthier.

She definitely relaxed the restrictions as I got older and my brothers got into the teenage stage, but it does make for some funny stories… “Hey remember the time mom made buckwheat biscuits????? Gross.”

Growing up that way definitely had a positive effect on me, though. And as a runner myself, I am constantly thinking of what I put into my mouth… whether or not it’s healthy and how my body will like it. Granted, I don’t ALWAYS eat exactly what I should, but I do a make an effort.

Granola is one of those things that I totally see my mom making back in the day (although, I can’t really remember if she actually did). It’s totally up her alley, with the oats, the flax seed, the nuts, and dried fruit.

I’ve never really gotten onto the granola train. I never really saw the point… I mean, I like my yogurt, oatmeal, and cereal just the way it is… But, when I saw this recipe on Cookie Baker Lynn's site for Almond Vanilla Granola… I instantly wanted to hop onto the granola train. And… so, I did… and it’s delicious. I like to eat it just by itself. But, I did sprinkle some in my cereal one morning and enjoyed it that way, too. I used dried cherries, and think it would be delicious with some golden raisins, as well.

Recipe for Cookie Baker Lynn's Almond Vanilla Granola


Elyse said...

My friends' moms led me to the discovery of chocolate chips in pancakes, too! And boy, what a great discovery. Sounds like your mom did a great job teaching you healthy eating. I can't wait to try this granola. I don't eat it often, but I absolutely love the flavor. AND, you're so right: it packs a great "energy" punch for running!

Sophia Lee said...

yum, this does look great! It'd be perfect with tangy yogurt and fresh berries!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice post! Great story! And I just want to DEVOUR that pic!!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your mom sounds like my kind of woman! It's funny what kids find out about at friends' houses. That's where my daughter found out that you can buy frosting in a can. Ugh. Your granola looks perfect!