Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Hippie Granola and Dog Treats

My husband and I set out for a walk in the woods early Saturday morning to soak up some nature.  I concocted a few energy packed snacks earlier in the week to take along; granola for us, and peanut butter treats for our dog.  I'm calling it my hippie granola.  My boss jokingly called me a hippie one day, referring to my love of yoga and Volkswagen.  I'll admit, I do have some hippie-esque qualities.  Although you'll never catch me in Birkenstocks, I revel in a good downward dog, have a fondness for Seventh Generation cleaning products, and have been known to hug a tree or two.  There's also nothing I love more than being outside in nature, taking in its sights and sounds, and filling my lungs with crisp morning air.  

Anyone who knows me will tell you I always have snacks packed wherever we go.  I am constantly snacking throughout the day, on fruit, veggies, granola bars, nuts, and hummus.  Going on a walk is obvious cause for such snacking, and a delicious one at that.   It was easy enough to pack and filled with protein to keep hunger pains at bay.  Loaded with dried blueberries, oats, nuts, and seeds, it has  sweetness from the addition of maple syrup and cinnamon, and smelled divine while slowly baking away in my oven.

It's very cost effective to make your own granola at home.  I bought most of the ingredients for my hippie granola in the bulk section of my grocery store, with plenty left over for another batch when this one runs out.  And I should also mention, this granola is better than anything you can buy in the store.  Free of preservatives too.  You can customize the granola any way you like.  Swap out the blueberries for cranberries or dried bananas, papaya, or pineapples.  Try macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts rather than almonds and walnuts.  You get the idea.  You could even add chocolate chips after it has cooled.  I store the granola in glass mason jars on my counter for quick access.  

Best of all...You don't have to be a hippie to eat this granola.  Although maybe like me, you'll start developing some hippie tendencies.  You may find yourself walking barefoot over blades of grass, listening to the birds, and snacking on this granola.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  Get out there and enjoy nature in all its peace and tranquility.  It feels great after a long workweek spent indoors.  It's waiting for you right outside your door.   


~Homemade Hippie Granola Recipe~ (For the Humans)

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried sweetened blueberries
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Measure out dry ingredients and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add wet ingredients (vanilla extract, maple syrup, and vegetable oil) and stir until well combined.  Spread mixture evenly on a baking sheet into a single layer.  Bake low for 60 minutes, turning about every 20 minutes or so.  Let cool completely and store in airtight containers.  Makes approximately 7 cups.

~Homemade Peanut Butter Treats Recipe~ (For the Dogs)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp chunky peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, initially with a fork.  Once the ingredients start to come together, use your hands to make sure everything is incorporated, and form into a ball.  Roll the dough out into 1/4" thickness, just like you would do if you were making cookies.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out individual treats.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool before sharing with your pup.  With the 1 1/2" cookie cutter I used, this made 56 dog treats.  Store some in the freezer for another time.

I should mention, Yager also enjoyed his peanut butter treats.  He said your dog will too ;)

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."- John Burroughs


Sue/the view from great island said...

I've been making homemade granola since the late 70's, so I guess that makes me an (almost) authentic hippie! I use wheat germ and coconut in mine, as well. Your tray of ingredients is beautiful.
I love the dog two dogs have never had anything made especially for them, except the occasional microwaved egg when I'm completely out of kibble!

Stephanie said...

You certainly are an authentic hippie! ;) Thanks for the compliment. That was a fun one to put together. I found that dog bone cookie cutter and just couldn't resist. Clearly, I have one spoiled puppy. What kinds of dogs do you have?

Anonymous said...

This granola looks SO GOOD!! I love the dried blueberries, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. I always eye the chia seeds at the market but can never commit to buying the big bag of them... I should though! I think I want to channel this type of granola next time I make my own.

Haha and I don't think anyone would call me a hippie but I definitely get some hippie jokes thrown at me when I pull out the almond butter or homemade nut butters, plain greek yogurt, or any flour that is not all-purpose white. But I don't consider it an insult. ;)

Clair said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

I love your recipes and am so amazed by your photography. I aspire to be as good in both areas! I'll definitely be visiting your space often. =)

Stephanie said...

Hi Clair, you are so sweet! Thanks so much. Glad you stopped by. It's nice to meet you.