Hello everyone. My name is Jenna and this is my first blog post in 26 years.
Just so you know where this amazing Granola Recipe came from, and since it's my first post, here's a little bit about me.
My life has changed pretty dramatically lately as I just finished out my last year as a middle school teacher. Here’s the deal. I LOVE teaching and my crazy middle school students, but was just exhausted. All the time.
At school, I had tons of energy (something necessary to keep middle schoolers engaged) and I think I got even more energy seeing my students get excited about learning, but then I would come home and it was like my body was coming off of an adrenaline rush and just wanted to collapse in bed. On top of that, my husband, Matt, works for Crossfit HQ and travels around the world teaching seminars Friday-Sunday (or longer if it’s international), so basically our schedules were flipped, making it difficult to spend quality time.
I knew I needed to make a change when my husband (very lovingly) said “Jenna, during the school year you are kinda like a zombie when you get home, a shell of the Jenna that I know”. You could say that was a big wake-up moment.
Anyways, that, along with a lot of praying and feeling a peace from God about my decision and wanting to start a family in the near future, led us to decide that this year would be my last. Fortunately, I will still be doing a form of teaching as I will be starting a CrossFit Kids program with Matt at our gym, CrossFit PB! I'm very excited about that!
I also decided to start my own blog (this one) dedicated to helping others live their lives to the fullest by pursing fitness and healthy eating (a HUGE passion of mine)! It also has a focus on creating positive family relationships and spouse connections and making fitness/healthy eating fun for kids. I might even add in a little section for teachers! AND I'm starting my own GF baking company through a local organic juice and smoothie shop. Matt has a theory that if I’m not multitasking all the time and not feeling stressed, I find more things to pursue and add more things onto my plate… I’m investigating that theory… later.
CrossFit is also a huge part of my life. I personally LOVE it and my life has been changed very dramatically by it (working out is ACTUALLY fun for me now)! Plus, as soon as I found that I could do a 20 minute CrossFit workout that gives me 3x better results than my usual 1 hour gym session, I was hooked. I thrive on living efficiently... so this was a big deal (and yes I’m one of those people who walk across the grass if it will get me somewhere faster). Oh and just to clarify... we do NOT lift our max. lifts in workouts, and no, you will not "bulk up" by lifting heavy weights. Unless you take steroids. Then you might haha.
A little bit about the recipes that I will be posting and what I consider healthy eating. Matt and I use paleo as a guideline. I will say that some people take it way too seriously… it should not be a historical reenactment of the Paleolithic times. We also follow “The Zone” for portions. To see what Paleo and the Zone are, and why we eat like that, see my other articles in the "Redefining Healthy" Section.
OK, after reading all that, you DESERVE a great recipe, so here it is! Now this is granola, and regardless of the fact that it's Gluten Free, granola still = a lot of carbs, so a good rule of thumb is to sprinkle it over some Greek yogurt in the morning and so that it's a mixture of protein (the "Fage" Greek yogurt is my fav) and carbs, and mix in a tablespoon of almond butter for your healthy fats. About a 1/3 of a cup is a good portion size. Because it's chunky, I also will just put some of this in a plastic bag and take it with me as a little snack sometimes, so it's super convenient for that too! Let me know if you have any questions!
Gluten Free Granola Goodness
Prep Time: 8 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Servings: 20
6 cups of Gluten Free Oats (I use 4c of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Rolled Oats and 2c of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Oats)
2 cups of Shredded Coconut or Coconut Flakes
Optional extra dry ingredients: 1 c of almond slivers or 1 c of sunflower seeds (just slightly increase the amount of coconut oil if you add these in)
1 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of honey
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
*Even though the last two are "dry" ingredients, mixing them into the "wet" will make sure they are spread out so that you don't have any "salty patches" in your granola.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degress.
2) Mix dry ingredients in a VERY LARGE bowl. Think big y'all.
3) Mix wet ingredients in a separate, small bowl or large measuring container. I use my 4 cup OXO Measuring Container because then you just measure as you put ingredients in (instead of measuring each ingredient with a measuring cup and then pouring it into the container). Less dishes to clean = a happier cook!
4) Pour the wet mixture into the dry.
5) Mix thoroughly. The mix should be saturated, but not be wet enough for liquid to pour off. If it is too dry, add more water. If it is too wet, add more oats.
Optional: To make your granola more chunky (how I like it), beat two egg whites in a small bowl until frothy and foamy, and then mix in with granola. If you like your granola more crumbly (loose oats), then do not add the egg whites.
6) Grease two 13x5 greased pans (I use coconut oil) and divide the mixture between the two.
7) Bake for 45minutes at 350 degrees, flipping it every 10 minutes for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. After it is done, you can always add a couple cups of dried fruit of your choice (raisins, dried cranberries, etc.) to give it a little extra deliciousness.
What's your favorite "extra" ingredient to put in granola? Any variations of this that you've tried and enjoyed?