Would you believe me if I told you that sometimes I’m still exhausted by the national food holiday challenge  I did last year? 6 months later and there are still weekends where I feel the effects of 2014 and the continuous cooking and days when it wasn’t fun and days when it was fun, and also all the days of my feet and back hurting from the crazy, self-imposed 12-14 hour days in my kitchen for an entire year. That’s exactly why I’m a big fan of those recipes that just aren’t complicated. (I still occasionally like the recipe that you nurture and spend all your afternoon tending to.)
This weekend I made two recipes, one of which is this one! And while I was glued to my couch for the better part of Sunday both watching TV (just one more episode…and then…okay seriously, just one more episode ad nauseum) and taking a really pleasant mid-afternoon nap (the kind where the air conditioning is set to the perfect temperature, you have a light blanket, and sun is streaming into your living room), I was able to make THIS for breakfast and a yellow curry for dinner and believe me when I say that it rivaled the yellow curry I get from my favorite Vietnamese place in Tampa.
But that’s exactly it. I crave simplicity. I crave it in my work, I crave it in the tasks I do around the house, I crave it in relationships with others. Life and recipes and to-do lists don’t have to be complicated. They can all just be. What a concept, huh? Perhaps one of the best examples of a simple recipe is granola. Granola is easy, it’s versatile, it’s delicious. Pick some oats, cereal, dried fruits, sweeteners, binding agent and go to town. Depending on the ratio of all those things, you might end up with really stable granola, as in granola bars. Or, you may be like me and be all like, okay fine granola “clusters” it is! The best part of all this is it doesn’t matter. Granola comes in different forms all the time!
Once I mixed together all the ingredients for my granola and pressed the mixture down into a coated 8×8 square baking dish, I was sure it would be sturdy enough to flip out and cut into squares for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack option. Yeah, the second I turned the pan over (after 2 hours of hardening in the fridge) it broke down. There were some chunks, some really loose pieces, and everything in between and I thought: I have clusters! Nothing wrong with granola clusters (and if you say otherwise I will cut you).
Have you heard of muesli before? Because my granola is made with it which, if you know what muesli is, you might find that weird because muesli is kind of like granola already. But let’s just chat about muesli  anyway, okay? Because I have two packages of the new Nature ValleyTM Toasted Oats Muesli , one in blueberry and one original and well, I need more because my homemade granola is out of this world good. Like, I’m giving myself a million pats on the back right now, and I think my husband’s continuous adventure into the kitchen to sneak another fistful of the stuff confirms that it’s gooooood.
(In a nutshell, the difference between muesli and granola is muesli is unbaked and usually doesn’t contain any sweetener or oil.)
(But I added sweetener and some oil (in the form of natural peanut butter) anyway.)
(And it’s still not unhealthy, so there.)
(But muesli  is really awesome, you’ll see. People eat it raw, they even soak muesli overnight and eat it like porridge.)
For this particular recipe, I used the Nature Valley Blueberry Muesli  which includes whole grain oats, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, almond pieces, and dried cranberries. And then I added more dried cranberries because I love the stuff and also some chopped walnuts.
There’s nothing about this granola that I don’t love, especially when it’s a topping for vanilla yogurt. If you want to try some of your own, grab a $1.00 OFF coupon for Nature Valley Muesli !
URLs in this post:
 Image: https://ooh.li/694e165
 national food holiday challenge: http://thefoodiepatootie.com/national-food-holidays/
 coupon for Nature Valley Muesli: https://ooh.li/92b41d7
 Print Recipe: http://thefoodiepatootie.com/no-bake-blueberry-muesli-peanut-butter-granola-clusters/print/