Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Yummy Crunchy Granola (a/k/a “Banola)

Today I finally got back to something I used to do all the time: making granola for the family.
When I was a kid, granola was not, ever, on the menu. My mother was very much a meat and potatoes kind of cook, and breakfast for us was usually boxed cereal or, my personal favorite, peanut butter and bananas on toast. My daddy would wake me up early to sit with him before he went to work, and he always had two peanut butter and banana toast slices and a glass of milk ready for me when I came out. Whenever I think of school year mornings, these are the memories that keep me warm.

Once I was a single mom in college, though, my whole relationship with food changed. I worked at a natural food co-op in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in exchange for a discount on everything I purchased there. My roommate’s mother ran a wonderful whole food restaurant called The Bread Line where I spent a lot of time, and Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook took over from Betty Crocker as my go-to cookbook. My roommate actually taught me how to make granola. She would do it about once a week, and the bowl would last us until almost the next week for breakfast and snacks.

After that, I made my own granola regularly, as often as I could. This was one thing I could do easily in Yemen, where the basic ingredients tended to be easy to find and inexpensive. For some reason, though, since returning to the States, I haven’t made a single batch of it. I decided last week that had to change, and this morning I made up a big batch, which I am sure will NOT last a whole week. The children ate some as a snack and love it, and my husband is looking forward to eating it tomorrow at breakfast.

So, I am going to share my recipe with you. Bear in mind, though, that I don’t measure any of the ingredients very accurately, and what goes into the granola ends up being what is on hand, or what is on sale this week!

This is where I would have a photo if I could figure out how to get photos to the computer. Sigh.

 

Our Crunchy Yummy Granola (or “banola” as Asmaa says)

Ingredients:

6 cups of rolled oats (NOT quick or instant, you want the nice thick oats)

1 cup of nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pistachios and sunflower seeds are favorites)

1 cup of coconut (or not, your choice)

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt (optional)

½ to 1 cup of good honey (REAL honey, not sugar syrup from China)

1 cup of raisins, cranberries, or dried fruits of choice

Option: switch out the dried fruit for CHOCOLATE CHIPS

Option: If you do that, and you like the synergy of chocolate and peanut butter, add three tablespoons almond or peanut butter (natural, without sugar or palm oil) to the honey- you may have to heat it up a bit to get it to incorporate)

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F

2. Put a 13 by 9 inch cake pan over low to medium heat on the stove and add your oatmeal. Stay there, don’t go away and do anything but watch and stir occasionally until the oats start to darken a little bit and smell very, very good. This takes about 5 minutes

3. Add in the nuts and coconut and keep cooking and stirring for another 3 to 5 minutes

4. Add the cinnamon, salt and honey and stir very well to coat all the oats and goodies

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Really, again, I recommend just staying there so that you don’t forget to stir. Stir from the bottom and the sides, to make sure that it cooks evenly and you don’t get any dark brown oats in there

6. Remove from the oven and add the dried fruits. If you are doing the chocolate chip thing, then let it cool for five or ten minutes and then stir in the chips to avoid a melty mess.

7. Let it cool completely, stirring every once in awhile

7. Store in an airtight container. I find that it will keep well for as long as it lasts, but if you are worried, stick it in the refrigerator if you have one

 

That’s it! Do you ever make homemade granola? Do you have ideas we could use to make ours better, or to make an exciting variation? I would love to hear your input and experiences below!

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9 comments

  1. Wise advice here, ma’am. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to work harder to practice some of these things moving forward. (It’s so easy to “forget.”)

    1. It is! It’s funny because I had been thinking a lot about that bedtime ritual with Mujaahid from when he was little, and I realized I hadn’t been practicing it with the other children lately. We started doing it again, and everyone is loving it. It’s important now especially because they are worried about Mujaahid, and about our potential relocation. I can see that it helps to ground them a bit more.

  2. Jazakallahu khayran for such a beneficial article Allaahummah barik. I have not been in these kind of situations however, reading you have made me realize that we may face uncertainty at a different level in different situations. Subhana Allaah, we need to step back sometimes and reflect upon our situation and try to see thorough our children’s eyes and minds …

    This summer my daughter, who is four ,was hit by a car. Alhamdulillaah she only had a broken ankle which is nothing compared to what could had happened to her. This accident was a huge shock for her. I could see how much she needed me. Alhamdulillaah I remained very calm all the way through and this helped her to cope with the situation. Later on, we ‘scrapbooked’ the experience, we went over what had happened that day and drew a story sequence on her scrapbook: The car, the accident, the ambulance…We talked about it more than once while looking at our drawing. I think this exercise helped her to understand what had happened to her and to accept it.
    Jazakalllaahu khayran

    1. Wa jazak! Yes, this is the sort of thing I am talking about. All children are different, but some of them really respond well to being able to work things out through speech, writing, coloring, drawing, or whatever. Alhamdulillah that your little girl is fine, and that you handled the situation so well!

      1. Barakallaahu feeki! I had never experienced anything like that before but I also I felt that Allaah put peace and tranquility in my heart and the whole experience made me reflect a lot alhamdulillaah. May Allaah protect your children and be the waliyy of all of you in this life and the next aameen. Fi amanillaah

  3. We have utilized all those methods, maashaa Allah, and still do at varying times. One thing I have always found therapeutic is to “walk through my thoughts and troubles.” In other words, I do something physical to release tension, get good endorphins flowing, and at the same time talk to Allah in order to think through things well. When there are major changes coming up or happening, I make an effort to walk with the children so they can release tension, relax, take in the grandeur of the Universe, think things through and put things in perspective. Somehow, those walks give them a platform to ask questions, explore scenarios, and voice fears and emotions that don’t come out when we are in the house.

    I think that other physical activity, like having races, hula hoop competitions, skipping, skating, etc. can also be encouraged and used in a similar way – to release the tension that such situations bring about. However, the walk is the one where the most connections seem to be made in conjunction with the physical release.

    Barak Allahu feekum. I KNOW that Allah is moving you on to something good and beneficial to you all, so I hope you all are waiting with the same excited, optimistic anticipation that I am to see where you all “land” next! Al hamdul’Illahi Rabbil aal ameen!

    1. Feekee Barak Allaah, Mai, yes, I feel the same way, alhamdulillaah, that we are moving on to something better. Mash’Allaah, this has always been the case, and my heart is easy with this.
      Your advice is WONDERFUL I wish I had put it in the original post, mash’Allaah! We do this as well, the walking, especially, but sometimes it will just be doing something to work through things in an energetic fashion. Actually, my husband and I do this ourselves as well, because it gives us time to reflect and connect and gain perspective. I am so glad you added this!! Insh’Allaah when I write this to put in the book, I will make sure it is mentioned.

  4. subhanAllah i just love your ideas reading this makes me feel that i have so much to learn as a mother and i don’t know were to start. i’m 21 with two beautiful girls , i feel so overwhelmed like i don’t know what i’m doing especially the fact that i did not really have this growing up i grew up in a family of tough love were you had to really cope with what you were dealing with by your self or suck it up, i always told my self that i would never do this to my children but now that i have children i feel the only thing i know how to do is what my parents done to me its like a battle me fighting myself not to be that way but its winning over me because i never experienced otherwise barakALLAH hu feeki for this wallahi its well needed at least on my part may ALLAH reward you greatly

    1. Alhamdulillah, we all start from somewhere, my dear. Ask Allaah for help, all the time, and remember that truly He answers your du’a. Think of the characteristics of the Prophet, sal Allaahu aleihi wa salam, and seek to nurture these in yourself. Be patient with yourself and your children, and look to Islaam for your guidelines in this and all things.

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