Time to Plant, Plus a NEW Recipe!

May 3rd, 2016

Hello, everyone! How are you all doing?


I'm writing today to give you some quick gardening recommendations, AND to share with you an awesome recipe for easy-peasy homemade granola.

Let's start with the gardening advice. Now is the time to think about planting colder weather crops. For example, in my garden, we planted peas, beets (golden and red), parsnips, radishes, and green onions yesterday. Today we will be planting lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and carrots. If you are planning to grow any of these veggies this year, you should probably start thinking about planting them soon. Plants that prefer hotter weather, or that are frost sensitive (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons) can wait a little longer before being placed in the garden. If you have a greenhouse or indoor garden, feel free to start these warmer-weather varieties there if you haven't already.


Now onto the recipe. This granola recipe is one I've used for a number of years. I bake a big batch (usually doubling the recipe) about once/month, and store it in the freezer for quick breakfasts and snacks. It makes a great breakfast with yogurt and berries, or even with milk like a cold cereal. If you're short on freezer space, the granola can also be stored in an airtight container in the cupboard or in the fridge.

* Note: If sending in child's school lunch, consider making a nut-free batch in case any classmates have nut allergies. Some seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax) may be okay, depending on your school's policy. If you're unsure, please check with your child's school. *


Easy-Peasy Homemade Granola


  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional, feel free to use other spices instead)
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit (I like pecans and pumpkin seeds, but use whatever you like best)


  1. In large bowl, mix oats and nuts/seeds together. *Note: if using dried fruit, wait to add until after baking. If baked, the fruit will burn and harden.
  2. In small bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix well.
  3. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
  4. Spread mixture evenly on 1 or 2 lightly-greased baking sheets. Bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes at a time, stirring occasionally, until granola is dry and lightly browned (about 40-45 minutes total). Check often, as the granola will quickly go from 'golden brown' to burnt if left in the oven too long.


That's it for this week. Hope you enjoy the recipe, and good luck to those of you working on a garden this season!


- Vanessa



* PS, don't forget to check out our Manitoulin Food Map here, and to follow us on Pinterest here.