A Spontaneous Raspberry Picking and Making Granola: Reviews

Last weekend we went camping. My husband’s folks, brother and sister-in law joined us in the North Cascades. I successfully tested my home-made marshmallows on them (thumbs up all around).

To my delight our trip took us right by  The Cascadian Farm (regionally local company selling berries, granola and jam). I love their jam and berries. A cute little stand sells Ice Cream made on-site, Coffee, fresh berries and snacks. They also have U-Pick berry fields. While we stopped to enjoy a smoothie (they easily obliged to omit the dairy for our little girl), I confessed to my husband, that I really wished I’d planned ahead to pick berries (at $2.25lb for Organic Raspberries it’s a deal!). He did his super-hero thinking and found an empty container from our camping supplies to use. They do supply the cardboard boxes you normally see at stores, but I wanted something to reuse.

Our kids were a lot of help, and picking went quickly (granted our daughter may have eaten more than she picked). With loads of gigantic, sun-ripened Raspberries all around us, it was hard to stop. And we only picked one row. But, we had plenty, and I didn’t to have so many that they’d smash each other. We had enough for a frozen stash, smoothies and to try a home-made Granita recipe.

The experience was so much fun, that we agreed it would be worth a day trip next year to restock our Raspberry stash.  At about an hour and a half drive from Seattle proper, it’d make a wonderful day trip.

Granola and Granola Bars Review

As I stood in line to pay for our 5.5lbs of Raspberries, I scanned the products for sale: Granola, Granola Bars, Chips, Salsa, Crackers, etc. I was curious about the Granola Bars since I had just made my very own for our trip. The ingredient list included over 7 things, including some “natural” preservatives. I understand that they are needed for a long shelf-life, but our home-made batch never lasts more than a week. And, from my experience, fresh tastes best.

Home made Granola!

I used a recipe from Kitchen Stewardship‘s eCookbook, Healthy Snacks To Go. The book cost $6.95, and so far, I think it’s paid for itself. I’ve made the Granola and Granola Bars. The Granola recipe takes all of 20 minutes to prepare. Seriously, you mix together butter/Ghee/Coconut Oil, Honey and a little water with Oats plus whatever else you want like nuts and dried fruits. You can do this while your oven pre-heats to 350 degrees. Then, you toast it for 10-15 minutes, mixing it half way during the bake time.  Granola Bars take a little more time, but are mostly the same ingredients with a slight change to the ratios. The only change I’ve made to the Granola bars is to use less sweetener.

Now, I know there are a lot of Granola recipes out there on the web. I’d even like to modify this one using Olive Oil and baking at a lower temperature. The reason why I used this recipe on my first try is because Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has a long track record on the blogging scene, and I was sure this recipe had been tried many times over. I scanned all the other 20 recipes, and know I will be spending time trying them all out as we get ready for the school year. Really, I’m excited to recommend this handy book that includes gluten-free, dairy-free and other “allergy free” options, easily labeled. So, if you want to check it out and buy it, here you go: Healthy Snacks To Go (affiliate link so I make $2 if you buy it). Or you can just wait until I review each one and rave about them:)

Do you have any snack recipes I should try out? Please do share! Bonus points for dairy-free recipes.