Eating healthier can seem like a “budget breaker” at times, especially in the beginning. Going “natural” can be BIG business which in turn means that some companies will gouge you with their high prices. When you have a larger family like ours or just want to be able to save money for other things, there are some simple ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank.
One of the ways that we like to save money without compromising on quality or freshness is making a lot of our food at home and from scratch. Take organic granola, for example. Those small boxes from the store can really add up. Especially when you have growing little ones who like to top their yogurt and smoothies with it. We began making our own granola years ago and although it takes a little more planning and work, this is a simple and basic recipe that anyone can make. There are also lots of variations of homemade granola that you can find with a simple online search or even in a favorite old recipe book. By adding dried fruit, seeds or nuts to the mix, it is sure to give your taste buds a nice treat.
I like to use an extra glass jar canister from my pantry to make a pretty presentation. The old transferware cup adds another element of simple and pretty to the literal mix. See what I did there? (smile)
Recipe Box: Simple Homemade Granola
- 6 c rolled oats (this does not work with instant)
- 1 tsp Saigon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt
- 3/4 c raw organic honey
- 1/2 c organic coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 c organic raisins
- 1/4 c organic dried cranberries
- 1/8 c black currants
- 1/4 c raw or toasted nuts (pepita seeds, sunflower seeds, or almond slices)
- 1/8 c organic chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Prepare two cookie sheets (with a rimmed edge) with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Combine all the dry ingredients and stir well. Set aside.
- Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl until it is well combined.
- Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and stir until well incorporated.
- Pour contents onto both cookie sheets and form a thin layer of oats and place in oven for 15 mins.
- Mix oats around to prevent burning and place back into oven for another 10-15 mins or until golden brown, but monitor to prevent any burns.
- Once golden brown is reached, remove cookie sheets from oven and place on a wire rack to cool between 15-20 mins.
- Once cooled, add in the remaining ingredients of dried fruit, seeds, and nuts on the trays and carefully mix.
- Add the cooled granola into an airtight container. Should keep well for at least 2 weeks.
NOTE: If you choose to use an alternative sweetener, please be aware of the dangers of products that contain artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Sucralose, aspartame, etc. Try to go as natural and as close to the source as you can. Your body will “thank you.”
The key to eating healthier with better choices is starting with the quality of the ingredients. You can take most of your family’s favorite meals and snacks and make a healthier version. I can tell you that NOT all “healthy and natural” products on the market are going to be “good” for you. Try your best not to fall prey to the “good” advertisement that is out there. If you are not able to make your own healthier versions, try looking for products that have five or less ingredients and make sure they are ingredients that you can not only recognize, but that you know is not harmful to your body. Check out these 3 simple Ways to Prepare Healthy Meals at Home here and try one of the recipes from our Recipe Box here.
You may be surprised when you see how easy this homemade version really is. Plus, you may even have most of the ingredients in your pantry already, which is always a nice surprise! That is what I love about simplifying things around our homestead. It eliminates any added stress and makes it easier to maintain on a regular basis. Our littles are always commenting on how they love the homemade version of things better than the store bought kind. Such a blessing that they can appreciate good, wholesome, and nutritious food at such an early age.
Disclaimer: The health and wellness posts shared here on GracefullyHome.com are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. The information provided on this blog is for general educational purposes, has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietician or nutritionist.
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