Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
For us, the fall season is typically full of pumpkin patch visits, going through corn mazes, eating tons of roasted corn on the cob and pumpkin dishes, growing pumpkins, picking apples, pears, and peaches, and even enjoying the autumn leaves. We love doing fall crafts, doing lots of baking, and making fall-flavored cookies.
The kids get so much out of all of our day trips to orchards, farms, and friend's houses. In fact, we went to a huge festival this year where they got to enjoy a horse show, puppet shows, animal demonstrations, yummy food, and even gigantic puzzles and games. One thing I thought was funny was a set-up they had where kids could pretend to be a farmer for the day. They had wooden apple trees with hooks inside holes where they would hang plastic apples for the kids to "pick," plastic potatoes hidden in a sandbox to dig out, and even wooden cows to "brush."
The Education of a Lifetime
I love that my kids get the experience of seeing and interacting with real farm animals on a regular basis. We even owned our own chickens in Arizona and were able to gather eggs every day. They've been able to pick real fruit and vegetables due to the generosity of friends and family—as well as from our home garden in the backyard. They don't have to wonder where their food comes from, or even how to prepare it, as we can and preserve all of our own food, as well.
In these days of processed convenience food, I feel like raising animals and growing food is a lost art. Even with something as simple as making our own granola, we were able to pick our own apples, dehydrate them ourselves, and make homemade applesauce, all of which contributed to our granola.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 gallon of granola
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- 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried apples
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Start by pouring your oats into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in all of your dry ingredients first.
- Then mix in all of your wet ingredients. Stir well.
- Save the raisins and dried apples until after you bake the granola.
- Spread your granola out into a thin, even layer on your cookie sheets.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Immediately pour your granola back into your mixing bowl and stir to cool.
- Then mix in your raisins and dried apple pieces. Yum!
- Store in a cool, dry location in an airtight container and it should last you indefinitely.
Fall seems to be a perfect opportunity to teach my little ones about food. I look forward to all the other opportunities that we will have in the coming months to visit more farms, orchards, and pumpkin patches. I want to give my children the experience of raising animals, growing our own food, and teaching them how to make all of their own yummy recipes at home—without the need for all of the processed items at the store.
We've already gotten to pick and prepare pears, peaches, and apples this year. Next, we will move on to picking the pumpkins we've grown in the backyard, carving them for Halloween, and baking them for Thanksgiving—not to mention my season finale in canning pumpkins.
It's easy to reminisce about our fall experiences of past years when making this recipe. Not only do we contribute so much each year to all of our fall dishes with hard work, time, and effort, but the smells filling our home and flavors we get to enjoy seem to glue all of these wonderful memories into place in our minds. Each time we make these delicious creations each year, we get to think of all of the falls of the past, and all of the ones we still have to celebrate together in the future.
I hope this recipe does that for you this year. Make this recipe part of your fall tradition and you too can experience every fall season with remembering, enjoying, and really getting into the season. If you like this recipe, you'll really enjoy my Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake, too. Enjoy!
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness