A while back I wrote a post called The Essential Pantry, and it couldn’t be more relevant today. Even before the current public health situation, I had planned to write about pantry meals because we added Cinnamon to our family a few weeks ago, and this little one is wiping me out! Adding to this adventure is the fact her big brother, Hemingway, is not too happy having to share attention as you can imagine, which then leaves me almost no time to cook, let alone meal plan or shop.
From previous posts, I have compiled a list of a few quick meals made with those pantry items, and below I share a super easy, hands-off granola recipe you can adapt to all of your favorite mix-ins.
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons mild flavored oil (I use coconut, but grapeseed or a roasted nut oil is delicious too.)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat water, syrup, oil until just bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat, add extract.
3. In a separate bowl, combine, oats, nuts and cinnamon.
4. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture – stir with spoon until well combined and spread out on a cooking spray covered sheet tray.
5. Bake in oven for 40-50 minutes – turning granola over in pan every 15 minutes with a large metal spatula.
6. When golden brown and almost crisp dry, remove from oven and add dried fruit.
7. Allow to cool and place in airtight container for up to one week or in freezer for up to one month.
- I add the fried fruit after baking because otherwise it becomes rock hard.
- This is a slightly sweet granola – it will not be anything like store bought. I prefer to get the sweet from the dried fruit, the yogurt parfait or the ice cream I sprinkle it over. If you want it sweeter, just adjust the ratio of syrup or honey to water, total still equaling one cup.
- You can substitute the spices, oil, nuts and dried fruit to your favorites.
- Some spices are more potent than others, so it will not always be a one to one substitution, e.g. cloves.
Yogurt Granola Parfait
- Use your yogurt of choice, fresh fruit of choice and granola, perhaps some extra nuts and/or a drizzle of honey.
- Layer the parfait in a clear glass mason jar or any other dish you like, and enjoy!
Meals made with the Essential Pantry ingredients
There are a few fresh and/or additional ingredients you will need to complete a meal such as: salad fixings (lettuce, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc), onions, fresh garlic, rosemary, basil, plain or vanilla yogurt – I prefer Greek style, and any fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand.
Quiche with salad, and homemade croutons made from fresh bread
Yogurt Parfait with Granola (recipe above)
If you would like to step up your homemade bread game, I would recommend The Chopping Block's Artisanal Bread Boot Camp or our Gluten-Free Breads Boot Camp. Both of these classes will be offered when we open our doors again after the COVID-19 crisis is over.