When I was in college, I lived off of fistfuls of dry granola cereal and Diet Coke. I didn’t lack the funds to a wholesome meal – I just thought this was what eating healthy looked like. I threw in some protein in the form of a spoonful of peanut butter every now and then for good measure, but I figured, eat a little of these sugary, empty carbs that have been labeled as healthy, then fit into the skinniest skinny jeans I can skinny myself into. Perfect, right?
Except that I bruised easily and was constantly tired. Not exactly the ideal image of health.
I don’t fit into those skinny jeans anymore, but I’m also no longer anemic, nor do I need as many naps.
Like a lot of young women, I had a skewed idea of what a healthy diet was, and now, I like to think I consume somewhat more balanced nutrition. I say somewhat, because I don’t remember the last post I wrote that didn’t include the words butter, bacon, cheese, or regret… Come to think of it, I may have run in the complete opposite direction of health…
Avoiding that topic and moving on to granola… It hit me one day that I had all of the ingredients for a healthy, homemade, not-from-a-box granola in my pantry, yet I’d never made it. For years I had skimmed past that potential and showcased all of those ingredients in some form of cookie or cake. But no more. Such a travesty had gone on long enough. So into the bowl they went – all of these lovely ingredients that individually have my love, and corporately have my adoration.
Organic oats, local honey, syrupy brown sugar, overpriced fresh walnuts, and just a sprinkling of cinnamon. All slowly toasted together, filling your home with the aromatic scent of honey and something that smells deceptively sinful. I hardly let it cool and harden before tossing it with dried cranberries and dolloping a spoonful of creamy Greek yogurt atop. Sprinkle with whatever fresh fruit you can get your hands on, and you have a sweet, crunchy, wholesome meal.
Or you could stuff it into a plastic bag and keep it on standby for the 3 o’clock hungries at work.
We’re disappointed in ourselves for having taken so long to make granola at home, especially since we’ve made two more unique batches since this one. Even as I write this, Kevin is spouting off his request for homemade granola, sprinkled with chocolate chips, lovingly smothered in sweet almond milk. Although it hardly makes it long enough on the counter to get into a bowl of milk, instead being sniped by the handful, lovingly scarfed like the days of old.
Just not solely for dinner with Diet Coke.