Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin seed granola & inspired women

Last week I had approximately 15 hours in a car between three days of travel. Once the music got old, I turned to talk radio. Jonni McCoy, famous for her book Miserly Moms, was the subject of an interview.

Jonni's story was one that started out of necessity - as most creative, determined womens' stories begin. She and her husband had to transition to living on one income. She was determined to find ways to save on her food budget, which included reducing or eliminating pre-packaged, pre-fab foods. She began to keep a notebook of cost savings ideas, recipes, price comparison information and more. Her friends started catching on and wanted to borrow her notebook. Fast forward a bit and she had a book deal.

Her story inspired me to think about our own food budget, including a few of our favorite (and expensive) grocery items. We love an organic pumpkin seed granola. It is pricey! A student told me last summer that her roommate made granola all the time - it was easy to make in great quantities and made their apartment smell wonderful. With those encouraging thoughts, we added a few ingredients to our grocery list and made granola last weekend.

The result: we left it in the oven a little too long, but lesson learned. It still tasted good and our house did smell wonderful.

Low Fat Granola Recipe

Makes 15 servings

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup almonds (or pecans or walnuts)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix oats, wheat bran, wheat germ, nuts, and seeds in large bowl. In small bowl mix honey, brown sugar, orange juice, butter, and cinnamon. Pour honey mixture onto oats mixture and stir well. Bake in a 275ยบ oven for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Homemade and very simple

Part of our quest for 2009 and was live a bit simpler - spend less, recycle more, and introduce fewer chemicals into our home and yard. Looking back on the year, we have not been perfect, but have made some gains on our goals for living better.

One particular win was to use our conventional cleaning products and begin making our own. I am very much a fan of the homemade disinfectant with tea tree oil. It has a very clean scent that is not overpowering and everything I have read about tea tree oil leads me to believe it a safe alternative to disinfecting with bleach.

This website has been really helpful for inspiration: