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Cherry Vanilla Granola

The last blog post I wrote was back in September. I have been a little caught up with baby troubles. Getting pregnant and staying pregnant is not as simple as it sounds for me. At this point in my journey I pride myself on not making a big deal about it and just doing what has to be done. Once it finally does happen, I am usually in a state of denial and don't talk about it until I'm home with a baby in my arms. I'm not one to "announce" my pregnancy either. I definitely like to keep things business as usual. Well this was not business as usual. The doctors were all up in arms about stuff. Blah blah blah bed rest. Blah blah blah hospital. Blah blah blah is right. Needless to say, keeping up with my blog or any of my other responsibilities as a mom or wife was not possible.

When thinking about how I was going to explain my whereabouts to my readers (and myself), I was feeling conflicted. It is not second nature for me to share so openly, and the guilt I felt for abandoning the blog (and my other jobs) was overwhelming. Yes, I had no control over it. Yes, I was doing the right thing. But it felt bad. Women these days wear so many hats and are expected to wear them perfectly and pull it off 110%. But it is BECAUSE of my guilt and hesitation that I think it’s important to be open about my experience.

There are so many people who go through fertility, miscarriage or pregnancy troubles and feel like they are alone. We feel a need to pretend that everything is ok. For me, this journey has been one that has lasted about seven years (so far). Over time I have realized that reaching out and befriending someone I know who is also struggling with this can make a difference for both of us. "They" don't tell you how tough it can be. Support is key. No secrets- this is real life and people go through this.

I can remember watching an episode of Sex and the City where Miranda is breastfeeding her new baby, feeling all frazzled while Carrie tries to chat with her about Mr. Big. There she is - the successful lawyer with a lazy ovary, at home with a new baby, with no boyfriend and big nipples. Why is it so hard to keep it together sometimes? Why is it so hard to not be in control? Why is it so hard to say "this is hard"? Ok, so it is a food based blog, but this is life. Let's roll with the punches. What’s that expression with having lemons and making lemonade? Well, you get my point.

Oh and by the way, I had a baby boy and I love him to the moon and back. It was all worth it-every minute.

To honor this womanly struggle I am sharing an updated recipe that I originally posted one year ago- my granola. While at the time I posted it I loved that version, since then I found myself testing new ones. Just like life, this recipe is forever evolving. But this is by far my best version and I’m certain you will agree. So here we are coming full circle through hard work and a recipe makeover, to present to you my Cherry Vanilla Granola.

Why I love this granola recipe:

  1. It is nut free. While I am a nut-a-holic many people around me can’t have. I don’t even miss them here.

  2. It has good for you ingredients like hemp and flaxseed.

  3. It has delicious vanilla and coconut flavor. The coconut flavor can be enhanced more by swapping out the neutral flavored oil for coconut oil.

Cherry Vanilla Granola

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Rating: Super fast- just a few minutes, including baking time.

Yield: 3 quarts

Ingredients:

6 cups old fashioned oats (not the quick cooking kind)

1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup dried cherries

¾ cup shelled sunflower seeds

¼ cup ground flaxseeds

¼ cup hemp seeds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil – like canola or safflower)

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (or 325 degrees convection)

In an oversized mixing bowl, place all of your ingredients. With gloved hands mix everything together really well. You want to make sure that all of your dry ingredients have a coating of the oil and maple syrup.

Split your mixture evenly onto two baking sheets. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, turning the trays from front to back halfway through. Make sure it is completely cool before storing in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

#breakfast #glutenfree