Kitchen Sink Granola

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DSC_0006Starting to feel back in tune with my body feels reeeeeeeally good. It’s taken a few weeks to get back on the right track, but I’m finally getting there. I suppose I had a “new years resolution” of sorts to help my body out, but it didn’t happen on purpose. I mean, it wasn’t really a resolution. It just so happened that I was feeling very out of tune with myself around the end of December (obviously from the holidays). When my body and brain aren’t one with each other I feel very out of whack.

I don’t believe in a diet, simply listening to your body and the signals it’s giving you is the best kind of “diet” out there. More of an anti diet, I guess. I don’t think you need to completely cut everything you enjoy out of the picture (carbs, sugar, chocolate, whatever else it may be). That is a foolproof way of failing at whatever goal you are attempting. It really bothers me how some people can get so extreme about a diet, and assume the results are going to happen overnight;  that the number on the scale is going to go down 20 pounds in a week. Now, I’m no licensed nutritionist or health adviser, but from past experience it is not worth going ballistic over seeing the number drop or rise. If you’re feeling good mentally and physically that is something to be very proud of.

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I could never cut sugar out completely. I love it to much (curse you never ending sweet tooth). Not to mention how hungry I am all the time from working out so much. It’s like my metabolism has ended up in the fast lane and can’t get back. I’m literally hungry all day long (not that I’m complaining). I have a very good relationship with food. Believe me.

Having that said, I smother my food in honey, agave, maple syrup, and load up my granola and breakfasts with dried fruits. I know it’s sugar but I feel somewhat better about it when it’s from a natural source. Don’t you?

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I called this granola Kitchen Sink Granola because it is a mess of a granola. With everything imagined crammed in there.

1 1/2 cup large flaked oats
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup agave (or honey)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ x 9″ baking dish with PAM and line with parchment.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 15 – 25 minutes. Continue baking if you want a drier, crunchier granola.
4. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Once removed, break into clusters with hands and store in an airtight container.
5. Nom nom nom nom nom

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