All Things New – A Simple Recipe

Today was a first for me. The first time to make one of my favorite snacks – granola. And, surprise! It actually turned out great!

Now, I know this might not seem like a big deal to some. Many of you have probably already made the discovery. But me? Well, let’s just say I’m always a little late to the party.

I have been in search of a healthy granola recipe for a while now. In keeping with my desire to make better food choices, I figured the best way to make sure I’m not eating too much junk is to make the “de-junked” version in my own kitchen.

The following recipe is my adaptation of the many different recipes I came across during what I’m calling “The Great Granola Search of 2011”.

Healthy Homemade Granola
Dry Ingredients
2 1/4 Cups Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
1/4 Cup Pecans
1/4 Raw Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed Meal
Wet Ingredients
1 Individual cup (I think that’s 1/4 C) of Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 Cup of Agave Nectar
1 Tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Salt (very important)
Mix wet and dry ingredients thoroughly and spread out on cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper). Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes making sure to turn every 10 minutes during cooking process.
You can add 1/2 Cup (or as much as you like) of dried fruit after granola is cooked and cooled, which I did of course. Keep in airtight container and refrigerate after granola has cooled completely.
There are few things in life that can provide instant gratification and be good for you at the same time. That’s why making an easy and healthy version of this scrumptious snack is my simple pleasure today.  

Project Simple Pleasures2

All Things New – Becoming A Renaissance Woman

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” Zig Ziglar

Success is something we are all aiming for in life. Somewhere along the way, we realize that it sometimes means being willing to adopt different behaviors and being open to new things. Even if it’s just baby steps at the beginning, it’s about taking the steps, right?  It’s in the reaching, the doing, the trying that we are transformed.

And transformation requires a personal Renaissance.

Renaissance. I like the sound of it. Among other definitions for this word, revival and rebirth stand out to me. This is what I want to see happen in my life and, in this year of All Things New, I have decided that with God’s help I am going to challenge myself in all areas: body, mind, soul and spirit.

Today, I am concentrating on the body, what the Bible calls “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  I’ve decided I want to aim for a healthier  lifestyle. Here are a few baby steps I’m taking…

More water and more exercise. I bought this new water bottle for my husband. I already had one but this one can be carried on the longer walks we plan to take. Another plus is no longer having to buy disposable water bottles. We can refill our bottles with filtered water and help ourselves and the environment in the process. A win/win!

Better food choices. When I’m out and about, I’ll aim for getting the fruit rather than the fries, like this fruit cup I got from a local deli. Yum! I love fruit and veggies but do not eat nearly enough. So this year the goal is MORE. More of the good stuff.

Learning to be a healthier cook. I want to try different recipes and ingredients that will not only be healthy but tasty as well. So I bought this acorn squash in hopes of making a unique side dish for dinner this week. For some reason, I have never thought to use acorn squash. Now I’m really getting daring, huh? 🙂

I think being a renaissance woman involves a change of heart and attitude. It means rejecting comparisons and status quo and making an effort to aim higher. Taking steps, however small, toward being the best we can be.

How do you define success? What are some baby steps you are taking towards your own personal Renaissance?