Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I had such a great time at our Self-Reliance class last night! Thanks to all of you that came!! I have posted the recipes for granola bars and yogurt, so now I am going to post the granola recipe. . . or maybe a couple recipes. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of it! Maybe I'll take one and add it later.


6 cups regular rolled oats (not quick)
1 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp salt (oops. . . I forgot that last night! Oh, well, it still tasted good!)
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried fruit

Mix dry ingredients. heat oil, honey, and brown sugar until warm, stirring. Combine dry and wet ingredients and pour onto large cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add dried fruit in for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Here is another recipe for granola that I have been making:

6 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix everything but raisins. In a separate bowl, whisk together:

1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla

Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and stir to coat evenly. Spread on large cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes stirring frequently. Add raisins during the last 5 minutes of baking.

As you can see, there are many similarites to granola recipes. My advice is to use what you like (or what you have) in your granola and make it your own favorite. I like to add cinnamon to my granola sometimes. Other times, I will combine different recipes together. I don't think I've ever made the same granola twice! It's fun to try new things. One thing we put in our granola last night was pumpkin seeds (even though it wasn't on the recipe). Try it out and enjoy!

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Making Yogurt

One of the greatest things I've discovered lately is homemade yogurt!! It is SO easy and healthy. The only special tool that you need is a candy thermometer. You can find them at Wal-Mart for $3-$4.

Here's what you do:

Put 7 cups of milk (I use 1%, but you use what you like) in a pan on the stove.

Whisk in 1/2 cup of powdered milk.

Stick your thermometer in and heat up the milk (on about medium heat) until it reaches 200 degrees.

(Sorry I don't have anymore pictures right now, but I am anxious to get this posted).

Pour the heated milk into a pitcher (not glass. . . just speaking from experience. . . .CRACK)

Stick your thermometer in it and wait until the milk cools to 110 degrees. This takes about an hour, so make sure you have the time!

Add 1 cup of plain yogurt (Dannon plain is the best to use as your initial starter). After that, you can save 1 cup of the yogurt you make to start your next batch. You can even stick it in the freezer if it's going to be awhile until you make yogurt again.

Stir it up well and pour into four glass pint jars. Put lids and rings on them. (You do not need a new lid, just use a clean one that has already been sealed before).

Now. . .you have a few options. . . the goal is to keep the jars at 100 degrees for 9 hours. . . .

#1 Wrap jars up in a warm fleece blanket or some towels and place in a small cooler. When I did it this way, I put the cooler in the sun. . . I don't know if that is necessary or not, but it turned out great!

#2 Warm your oven up to the coolest setting. Turn it off and place your jars in the oven. It might be best to do this at night when you will not be using your oven. Then the yogurt will be done in the morning.

#3 I have a square dehydrator where the trays come out and I can put my yogurt right in and turn it on to the right temperature for making yogurt.

Let your yogurt culture for 9 hours and then put in the fridge.

A few notes:

*To make vanilla yogurt, add 1/3 cup (or more) of sugar and 2 Tbs. of vanilla when you are heating up the milk.

*If you would like fruit yogurt, add a few spoonfuls of jam to the bottom of your pint jars before you pour the heated milk in.

*A lot of the time, I will make just the plain yogurt and then add a small spoonful of jam to it, along with some homemade granola and dried or fresh fruit and it is DELICIOUS!

Whew!! It really isn't that complicated. . . I just wanted to give you all the details! Enjoy!!

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Granola Bars!

I've been searching for a good granola bar recipe, and I have loved this one! I hope you all enjoy it!

4 1/2 c rolled oats (regular, not quick)

1 c flour ( I like to use whole wheat flour)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 c butter, melted

1/2 c honey

1/3 c brown sugar, packed

1/2 c mini chocolate chips (raisins, craisins, other dried fruit, whatever you like!)
Combine all ingredients but the chocolate chips (or whatever you are putting in). Mix and then add the chocolate chips in and mix again. Press into a greased pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-22 minutes. Enjoy!!

**this is a basic recipe. . . if you like other things, try putting them in and make it your own recipe! Nuts, seeds, coconut, peanut butter. . . the options are endless!**

Here they are pressed into my pan. I made a double batch the other day and fit it in this pan. It makes them a little thicker, so I just cut them a little smaller

Once they've cooled off for a few minutes, cut them up to your desired size. They are VERY filling, so keep that in mind, especially if you have young kids.

Once they have cooled completely, I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in a big ziplock bag. You can also use the snack size baggies to put each one in. What a yummy and healthy snack your kids have to come home to! (And yummy for mom, too!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yogurt Chips

In case you haven't noticed. . . my dehydrator has been working nonstop lately! I have been wanting to try these yogurt chips for awhile, and I finally did it today!

It was sooooo simple. I scooped a small spoonful of strawberry yogurt all over my trays and stuck them in the dehydrator.

I put them in my dehydrator about 9AM this morning and took them out at about 7PM. They do take awhile, but they turned out great!

They are soft, pliable and tasty! What a nice healthy snack. :)

Fruit Leather

I have the secret to perfect fruit leather! Mix your fruit with applesauce or pearsauce! I made fruit leather yesterday and I mixed purreed peaches with pear sauce that I canned last summer. The ratio I used was about half peaches and half pear sauce. Here are some of my lovely peaches (by the way, I never peel fruit that I make into leather, I just blend it all up, skins and all):

And here is my pear sauce:

All I did was blend it together with a little lemon juice and pour it onto my trays.

Here's what it looked like out when finished drying:

Since I end up with huge pieces of fruit leather, I tear them in half, roll them up, and then roll them in plastic wrap. My girls were chowing these down like candy all day today!

For any other fruit leather you want to make, you can use 1 cup of pureed fruit to 2 cups of applesauce or pear sauce. The sauces help it to turn out more pliable and not so crispy (I tend to over dry sometimes, so I used to get crispy leather). This also helps to stretch your fruit further.
I made some with nectarines a few weeks ago, 1 cup of nectarines to 2 cups of pear sauce. It was so good I didn't even have a chance to take pictures! It just disappeared!