Bob’s Red Mill has graciously offered to give eight pounds of granola to three lucky readers. (This will include four one-pound bags of both the gluten-free honey oat and apple blueberry varieties.) To enter, simply leave a comment below by noon EDT, Saturday, July 12. A second entry may also be made on LancasterOnline. The winners will be randomly selected and notified via email by Sunday, July 13 and have 48 hours to reply with a complete mailing address so that they may receive their prize. Good luck!
UPDATE: The three winners are Traci, Lauren and Sarah. Please respond to my email within 48 hours with a complete mailing address so that you can receive the eight delicious pounds of granola. Congratulations and enjoy!!
On more than one occasion, I have glanced at the label on a package of granola and noticed that one full serving amounts to a meager half a cup. Consequently, I try to think of granola as a crunchy topping or quick snack instead of the heaping bowl of cereal I’d like it to be!
The following recipe is one of several meal-in-a-jar combinations that I make often, and it allows the prescribed half cup of granola to actually satiate my appetite. Though I typically enjoy granola for its hearty crunch, the slight chewiness that an overnight soak creates is satisfying in its own right. These cups are akin to cold, fruity oatmeal—which may sound strange—but they make an unexpectedly refreshing and filling breakfast option.
The current abundance of seasonal fruits provides natural sweetness and versatility in this portable meal. Out of season, however, frozen fruit works surprisingly well. Frozen blueberries are a favorite for their plump juiciness and may be added straight from the freezer. Additionally, the wide variety of milk options makes this recipe an ideal breakfast for those who are vegan or cannot tolerate dairy.
Added note: With summer fruit currently at its best, I find I have been exceeding the suggested 1/3 cup of fresh fruit by a lot! My current favorite is a combination of chopped peaches, blueberries, and black raspberries. (I usually stir in the peaches in the morning because I think they taste better at room temp.) The sky is truly the limit with any of the add-ins and all can be modified according to season and taste. I have also been mixing about 10 portions of the dry ingredients at a time in zipper-top bags. Then I have them on hand for whoever may want them and they take moments to get ready at night.
Yields 1 serving.
- 1/2 cup granola (see notes)
- 1 rounded tablespoon diced dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, and golden raisins are especially good)
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds (omit if not a fan of nuts)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds (see notes)
- 2/3 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened; may use milk of choice)
- 1/3 cup fresh blueberries, chopped strawberries, peaches or fruit of choice (more to taste; frozen blueberries are a good out-of-season option)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional; some milks offer more sweetness than others)
- Optional: raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract, shredded coconut, additional granola for a crunchy garnish
In a 12-ounce or larger glass or jar (you need a little room to stir), combine the granola, dried fruit, almonds, and chia seeds. Pour in the milk and the maple syrup, if using, and stir well.
Gently fold in the blueberries or other fruit of choice.
Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Gently stir from the bottom before eating to fully incorporate all the ingredients. The granola cups will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 3 days.
- I find granolas with a primary ingredient of oats are perfect for this recipe, and then I add my favorite dried fruits. Feel free to experiment with your favorite store-bought or homemade variety. For delicious pre-made options that are not high in sugar, Bob’s Red Mill’s granolas are a great choice.
- Chia seeds resemble poppy seeds and are available in the organic section of most large grocery stores. They are tasteless but a great source of heart healthy omega-3s as well as fiber and other minerals. Chia seeds are also extremely absorbent, thereby offering a thickening property when left to soften in liquid. For alternate uses, the seeds may be sprinkled over yogurt, oatmeal and salads or added to a smoothie.