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I certainly hope you all enjoyed your Valentines Day, with or without a Valentine.

I was nice enough to give Yngve one of my cookies yesterday, even though he forgot to buy me flowers.

But anyway…

Today I’m talkin’ ’bout cereal. Quite possibly one of the most convenient breakfast foods ever. I love me some cereal in the morning.

Admittedly, I REALLY love kid cereals… think: coco puffs and fruity pebbles, and fruit loops and frosted flakes and pretty much any other cereal that’s 100% sugar. *sigh* None of that for me anymore, though.

I also like “healthy” cereal, too- especially granola. I love the crunch.

I say “healthy,” because granola isn’t always so. It can be loaded with waaaaaay too much sugar and fat to even come close to being healthy.

But if you make granola yourself, you can save a buck AND control how much fat and sugar goes into your favorite morning fuel.

I have a basic recipe adapted from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. I liked their recipe, but I discovered I had no way to access one of the main ingredients here in Norway, so I decided to tweak it a bit to suit me and what I had available. I came up with something that I like, and hopefully you’ll like it to!

The basic recipe is as follows:

Basic Low-Cal Granola

3 C. Old fashioned Oats (though admittedly, I’ve used “quick cooking” (not instant) before and it’s turned out just fine.)

1/3 c. chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc)

1/3 c. raw pumpkin seeds (I’ve also used sunflower seeds)

1/4 c. wheat germ

1/4 c. unsweetened flaked coconut

1 tbs. canola oil

2 tsp. cinnamon (I’ve also used 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cardamom)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. dried fruit (I tend to use cranberries, but this time I used dried, chopped apricots. You could use raisins or currants or dried cherries. Whatever you like)

2 tbs honey

I like chopped almonds the most.

 Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Spray a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan with nonstick spray. (One with sides so your granola doesn’t slide off) Stir together all ingredients except the dry fruit in a large bowl, pour into baking pan and spread evenly. (I actually like to stir together the honey, oil and maybe a tablespoon or so of water together before drizzling it slowly onto the other ingredients and mixing well- this granola doesn’t clump together much, but if you add a little bit of water, it will a little bit.) Bake, stirring once, until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Pumpkin seeds are great, but sunflower seeds work, too!

Stir in dried fruit and let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Can store in airtight container up to 1 month. There’s about 12 servings in this at 1/3 cup each.

I think the chopped apricots look like little shining jewels, they're so pretty!

I like mine best on top of homemade yogurt. Yum, yum!

serve and devour, happy you've saved yourself money and calories!