Eric had been waiting for me to make this for weeks and even though it is quick and easy, I just hadn’t made the time. He was on a ski trip in Utah and the kids and I were home on Sunday so I thought it would be a nice surprise to have it for him when he got back. Sundays are a great day to make food for the week, whether it be granola, a big pot of soup or chili, or a casserole type dish you can eat for the next few days. It makes eating whole foods a lot easier.
We woke up that Sunday morning to almost of foot of fresh snow which was very exciting, especially since it hasn’t snowed much this winter. The kids were excited to go out and play! We tried to make a snowman but Max and Cea thought it was more fun to jump on top of the big ball of snow I just spend 20 minutes forming, so we didn’t get too far with that project. Snow angels were fun too, and we attempted to sled do the big hill in our back yard but there was just too much snow and we didn’t move very far. After being outside for a while,we headed in for some hot chocolate and baking. My kids love to help pour the ingredients into the bowl and it’s an easy way to get them involved in the cooking process. They can’t do much chopping at this age so I have to give them age appropriate jobs. When I make salads, they usually fight over who gets the use the salad spinner and wait anxiously for their turn…or just grab it from each other when they can no long wait:) I think it’s important to get the kids cooking early in life. Cecilia, my 2 year old is always saying, “Let’s do a recipe, mom!”
This is a recipe from The Kind Diet Cookbook that I have altered a bit. It calls for maple sugar, which is excellent but it is also expensive. I had run out of it so I used coconut sugar instead and have also tried date sugar. Sugar is sugar but coconut and date sugar have less of a glycemic index, more nutrients and are less refined. Sugar is probably my biggest vice and something that I need to take a break from… but until further notice, I will post some yummy sweets. I used to buy Grade A Maple Syrup because I assumed A was better than B and worth that extra dollar. Then I learned that B is actually less processed and a darker color, meaning it had more nutrients. Again, sugar is sugar…the body doesn’t really care where it comes from.
I added ground flax seed because it is a great way to get omega 3 essential fatty acids which are heart healthy and add some fiber. The flax seeds need to be ground because whole flax seeds will go right through you and you won’t get the benefits. I buy whole flax seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder right before I use them. I also use natural dried Coconut, not sweetened coconut flakes. This are a lot of options in the recipe to suite your tastes from what sweetener you use to your choice of nuts and seeds.
slightly adapted from The Kind Diet
6 Cups Oats ( I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar (Or Maple Sugar)
1/4 Cup Flax Seed (Ground)
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
!/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds (or Sesame Seeds)
1 Cup Sliced Almonds (or any chopped nut or dried fruit)
1/2 Cup Sunflower Oil
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup ( or use 1/3 Brown Rice Syrup for a less sweet version)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the oats to a mixing bowl and add the Sugar, Flax Seed, Coconut Flakes, Seeds and Nuts or Fruit. Mix well. In a small bowl, mix the Oil, Maple Syrup, and Vanilla. Add to the Oats an mix well until the Oats are well coated.
Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet, or 2 smaller ones and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through. Let cool and store in an airtight container.