Granola Take 2 & The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast

I learned a critical secret to running on Saturday. Apparently, the “runners” of the world had banded together and been keeping it from me. No longer!

Saturday, Matt and I exclaimed that we had both seen the same runner go by our house 3 times! To make sure it was the same one (as she had a jacket on twice and none on the last pass) I said, “yeah, the one with her hands kind of flapping right?” I didn’t mean it in a derogatory way, that’s just what stuck out about her to me. “Yeah that just means she’s a real runner,” Matt countered. Uhm excuse me?

Apparently, you are supposed to keep your arms relaxed while you run. Matt told me this and I felt like someone had been keeping from me, the secret to LIFE! Like I had been riding a bike backwards all of these years and that’s why, gee, I wasn’t getting anywhere! OR! you know what, I’ll stop there.

Matt asked if I was keeping my arms up and pumping while I run. Yes (aren’t you suppose to?). Was I holding my hands in fists? YES! Well that was my issue. That’s all wasted engery and the swinging was distrupting my forward motion (why wasn’t he an engineer again?) I testing this new technique out yesterday (after literally dreaming about having flappy hands Saturday night) and lo and behold, IT WORKED! I kept my arms swinging a little but much more relaxed and my hands OPEN.

I did a warm up walk for 3 minutes and then started jogging (I can’t really say I “run” it’s really more jogging, baby steps here people) and made it the entire length of the street I was running, turned left, hiked up a hill (about 1 1/2 minutes) and then as soon as it evened out a little, started up again. I couldn’t believe how far I had run, I was starting the loop! I wasn’t entirely sure where the loop was going to take me mind you, but I had an idea. I was pumped about the loop (can’t you tell??). I made it out to main street, hiked up a VERY steep hill (3 minutes) and then ran the rest of the way home! All told it took me 33 1/2 minutes.

I feel like a new person, I have discovered the secret. Why had no one told me this? WHY?! Bunch of snobby runners the lot of you! (just kidding I’m still secretly jealous of you, I hope to soon join your ranks officially)

Anyway, onto food things (sorry foodies, for the long and boring story about my relaxed arms)

Saturday, I tried the Pot Roast recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook. It was very good, it really let the flavor of the beef shine through, although, it was not the most flavorful pot roast I have ever had (ubt it was still delicious and the Pioneer Woman is still genius!). No matter, I saved the rest of it, shredded it and plan on using it tonight for a twist on beef enchiladas! Wish me luck 😉

Early Sunday morning I set about making my second batch of granola. Yes, I ran through it all and yes I’m going to give you the recipe (by are suppose to be excited, started clapping and run around your office and tell everyone the good news!..or don’t). The only issue was, it wasn’t as good this time. Not quite as sweet and it was just not as flavorful. I couldn’t put my finger on it until after I finished my container this morning and then it dawned on me. Ah hah! The coconut flakes! I had no idea coconut flakes were so critical. Also, and I am still completely baffled as to how this is possible as I dumped a hefty amount in, but it needed more cinnamon!…but maybe that’s just me.

Here you go, secret family recipe (sorry Aunt Barbara, you entrusted me with your recipe and I blurb it to the world! What a bad niece I am! 😦 P.S. are you still making the “junk” Easter Bunny cake with coconut and jelly beans and candy on it this year? Just curious…)

Aunt Barb’s Homemade Granola (Lindsey Style!)

(this makes…a LOT! 12 cups, something like that?)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1-2 cups of almond slices
  • 1/2-1 cup of sunflower seeds (mine were roasted and salted)
  • 1/2-1 cup of pipitas (pumpkin seeds. mine were also roasted and salted, these are NOT in the original recipe but I can’t imagine it without them!)
  • 1 cups of wheat germ (or wheat bran which I had to use this time as wheat germ was nowhere to be found)
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes (do not be a fool like me and leave them out)
  • 1 cup of ground flax seed (or whole…also not in the original recipe)
  • an obscene amount of cinnamon…and maybe a little nutmeg… and some Chinese 5 Spice for good measure (I’m talking, I used 1/2 a container the first time around..I know, it’s a lot but it’s an awful lot of granola as well!)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil (or olive oil, that’s what the original recipe called for)
  • 1/2-1 cup of honey & pure maple syrup (the recipe calls for honey but I didn’t have enough and I LOVE maple syrup (I LOVE ITT! MADLY!) so I combined the 2. I was probably a little over the 1/2 cup mark the first time, around 3/4 of a cup and I’d stick with that, it’s a good happy medium. This last time I only used 1/2 cup barely and it’s a little lacking)
  • 1-4 tsp. pure vanilla extract (the original calls for 1…so I added about 4, I don’t follow rules well, not in recipes anyway)
  • 1/3 cup of water

DESTRUCTIONS! (Instructions for the rest of you normal people..)

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • combine all of the dry ingredients in a LARGE bowl and toss with clean hands.
  • Combine all of the wet ingredients in a large measure cup with a spout (if possible). I use my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup because it works best.
  • Wisk the wet ingredients together and then pour over the dry ingredients. Toss with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  • spray 2 large jelly roll (or rimmed sheet pans whatever you want to call them) lightly with cooking spray. Spread the granola onto the pans spreading out evenly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Then take out, toss with a spatula, and return to the oven. I like to use a high heat, large, broad, bendable plastic spatula (for pancakes), pile the entire mixture in the middle of pan and then kinda toss it and re-distribute but hey, you do what you want.
  • *send dog into frantic feeding frenzy with all of the lovely granola you will inevitably drop on the floor…shoo dog away. (optional step)
  • Bake granola for another 10 minutes, remove and toss again. Return to oven.
  • WATCH IT CAREFULLY THE LAST 10 MINUTES! This can go from lovely toasty granola to burnt yuckiness quickly if you are not careful. Mine usually makes it only 7-8 out of 10 minutes the last time around.
  • For those of you counting that’s a total of about 30 minutes, with tossing every 10.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool on pans and store in airtight containers (or ziplock bags).  It should be dry, golden brown and loose.

This was my first batch a few weeks ago

  • Serve atop yogurt, ice ceam, eaten dry or with milk (cow, almond (my fav), soy or other) either soaked or as cereal.

This granola is well, it’s awesome! I’m not so much a fan of it dry, but before I leave for work I put 1/2 cup of the granola in a container with 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, let it sit and when I get to work a good 40 minutes later and eat it? Oh it’s heaven! There are few things I could eat every day but after eating this for about 3 weeks straight I can say I could be faithful to this breakfast. The almond milk absorbs into the oats and such and makes it nice and filling and just delicious! The slight sweetness from the honey and maple, the warm cinnamon and the toasty nutty seeds and nuts? Oh you have not lived until you try this. Plus eaten as such it’s diary free! Matt is partial to sprinkling it on his yogurt in the morning but that’s him, he doesn’t know what he’s missing out on.

Make some for yourself, it means you officially be a one of the what my father likes to refer to as, “funky, crunchy, granola people” but hey, whats wrong with that?

Training and Food Journal

TRAINING: Taking the day off. I was a good girl and got 2 workouts in this weekend, back at it tomorrow.


  • BREAKFAST: 1/2 cup granola and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond DUH, OBVI!
  • LUNCH: Salad with iceberg and spring mix lettuce, 3 slices of Genoa salami (so sue me) 2 slices low sodium american cheese and 2 tbs. creamy italian dressing..this would be one of those “naughty salads” again but it was so worth it.
  • SNACK: 1 small piece of cake (mm, cake)
  • DINNER: Shredded Beef enchiladas with Beans & Rice (recipe tomorrow)

About Lindsey @ trail to train

I'm a (somewhat) normal girl with slightly unusal ideas about everything. I do fitness my way because thats the only way I know how and my extensive mishmashed knowledge of food and cooking to make great, fast, healthy meals.
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2 Responses to Granola Take 2 & The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast

  1. Kate says:

    Oooh Linds, I’m not a runner and even I knew that!! I’m glad you learned that trick though. I might be a runner. I have completed 2 days of c25k. I don’t want to “be a runner” but I just want to move…so I’m doing it. The pup likes to come with me. He’s cool.

    • Thats excellent Kate! I have always hated running but the big draw for me is that you can do it ANYWHERE. You don’t need equipment, you don’t to go anywhere specific you just need to put on your sneakers (vibram 5 finger shoes in my case, you should really look into them 😉 ) and go! Plus your outdoors which is huge for me.
      Cough to 5K was a great start for me and I’m still following it to some extent but when I went the other day I just ran as long as I could and walked when I had to but made sure I kept a good pase. I’m jelous you can bring your new pup, mine is WAYYY to ADD to bring, she stops to sniff everything plus shes got those short little legs. She’s better off in the woods running after my friends dog than trying to keep up with me 😉

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