Monday, August 2, 2010

Crock Pot Granola, Free Cookbook, and Menu Plan Monday

We stopped buying boxed cereal a few months ago, to save money and improve the quality of our breakfasts. We usually have overnight steel cut oatmeal in the crockpot, or homemade granola. Granola is really easy to make, and you can throw in whatever you have. Most recipes call for different nuts, maybe dried coconut flakes, or wheat germ or dried fruit. All these ingredients are optional. That makes it simple and economical. As long as you have oil, honey, and oats, you're good to go. I try to keep some other things in stock, but it's nice to know they're not necessary for tasty cereal!

I've been trying out different granola recipes and methods for months. I've burnt a lot of rolled oats over that time too! I've found it difficult to get perfect granola, though fortunately somewhat burned, it still tastes yummy. A few weeks ago I had an email in my inbox with a free cookbook called Molly Fresh. It has lots of great fresh recipes for summer, including homemade pesto, which my husband made again this weekend!

The thing that caught my attention was a recipe for making granola in the crock pot. I'd never thought of this, so I decided to try it. I've been doing it about twice a week since! Yes, again I've burnt plenty of it, but I finally learned that as long as I set a timer to stir every 15 minutes or so, it turns out great! I like it because I can make granola in the summer without heating up the house with the oven. I hate reaching into the oven to stir or pulling dishes in and out to stir, which you have to do more often in the oven.

Here's the recipe and a sample of the free cookbook
(click to enlarge) that you can download here.
Some tips:
-I add 1/4 cup of brown sugar. (Hee hee ;)
-It says here to cook it for 5 hours. Every crock pot is different. The first time just stay near it and stop cooking and stirring once it gets to the desired consistency.
-I found it helpful to leave the lid on the crock pot cracked a little.
-Stir often the first time. My crock pot on low is pretty hot. I left it too long the first time (and a couple other times that I forgot about it!)
-Once I accidentally put double the oil and honey. It made a great chewy snack, kind of like granola bars!

Now for this weeks menu plan. I'm veering a little from More with Less. Don't worry. I'm not finished being obsessed with that amazing cookbook. I just wanted to use up some stuff we have this week and try to go all homemade on an old favorite recipe. I just might share it next week if it works out!

Monday: Homemade Pizza
Tuesday: Baked Chicken (not sure of the specifics yet)
Wednesday: Chicken Crescent rolls (with leftover chicken)
Thursday: Homemade Spaghetti
Friday: Chicken Curry (with leftover chicken)
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Vietnam Fried Rice


  1. your menu sounds great!! We love chicken curry!! That hasn't been on our menu for a while. I'll be addiing it next week. :) And the Chicken crescent rolls sound really good.

    Come check out my menu and enter some of my great giveaways!

    Have a great week!

  2. Your menu for the week sounds pretty good - I may have to try the chicken crescent rolls (or my idea of what it is) this week.

    The granola recipe sounds great to "expand" on your own likes. And who knew you could make granola in the crock pot! Though I make lots of things in the crock pot - more so in the winter but I'm changing my "ideas" to include the rest of the seasons as well.

    Thanks for sharing.


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