Cranberry-Orange-Nut Granola

Cranberry-Orange-Nut Granola

Inspired by Jennifer at As Cozy as Spring, I decided to make granola. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks and today was the day the thought became reality.

This is seriously the best granola I’ve ever made. It isn’t Jennifer’s recipe, exactly. It isn’t a recipe I found anywhere. I just looked at three or four recipes and then looked at what I actually had on hand and… improvised. I like a lot of dried fruit in my granola. Most commercial granolas don’t have enough. I think mine is probably super sweet compared to all the recipes I borrowed from. I got super excited about the boiled cider and maple syrup after I’d already added the brown sugar and honey. And the candied orange peel and cranberries already had added sugar. Oh well, this will be a treat like cookies. I did resist the temptation to add chocolate chips. Barely. I probably should have added more pecans.

All measurements are estimates. I’m not that great at measuring and with the fruits I was just tossing in handfuls until it looked right.


5 cups rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbs ground flax seed


1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup boiled cider
3 Tbs melted butter
2 Tbs coconut oil


1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup candied orange peel

Preheat oven to 300. Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients, nuts, and fruit to the dry stuff. Mix thoroughly. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 40-60 minutes or until golden brown and crispy and aromatic like roasted nuts, stirring every ten minutes. Let cool and then remove to a container, breaking up big chunks. I’m thinking this will be really good on yogurt.


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  • Calah,
    Before you depend on the Creighton method again during this tricky post-partum infertility / nursing phase, check out the Marquette Method.  Their website is  I don’t know about you, but trying to “read” signs when my signs are all over the place dealing with little ones all day, is just down right ridiculous when you add to that the burden of post-partum depression.  Marquette made it very cut and dry (no pun intended) for us and we were successfully able to space our children almost three years apart this time!  God Bless your honesty.

  • Oh, I love this post! It’s so beautiful, truthful and very Little Flowerish!

    I can so relate. I’m just now coming out of a “foggy” period after my youngest baby had bad colic. It’s beautiful how the hard times in our faith actually make the virtue of Faith more luminous!

  • Calah, I haven’t been pregnant for over 25 years, but I have been off Wellbutrin XL for some time. It carried me through a lot of years, but one day I woke up realizing that it wasn’t working anymore. I tried going off and then on again—no luck and I do not want to experiment with any of the myriad antidepressants on the market. So I decided that since the depression is mild, maybe I should trust in the Lord to lead me on. Remember the phrase “offer it up”? I often feel conflicted, unconnected and adrift, but God loves me—he’ll take me at my worst. So I try to be open to whatever subtle suggestions He plants and hope I’m on the right path. I really felt alone for a while but He led me to The Anchoress and other Catholic bloggers. They, and you, have made the invisible more real to me than it has been for a long time. Thanks.

  • This is really beautiful Calah!

    I’ve definitely felt all those feelings before and I totally understand the complete awfulness that is postpartum so I hope and pray that it passes soon for you!
    During these periods of pain I honestly think that there are no words of comfort, especially when God doesn’t seem to be saying anything, its all so dark. It is truly beautiful to find such amazing insight into the crucifix though, and it helps us join our crosses to His.

  • Thank you for this honest and beautiful post.  I spent yesterday morning sobbing in our Parish’s Adoration chapel after I learned of the election results. It was just “the straw that broke the camels back”in a series of bad news and struggles that has tested my faith.  Reading this post helps.  Thanks.

  • Just as much to the point, somebody should be staying with you and helping you out, Calah. Also, walk outside in the sunshine a little bit whenever you can, and take Vitamin D and such. Watch things that are cheerful and funny, and won’t tire you out.

    Being tired, being depleted of nutrients after nine months, and feeling depressed on top of that is no joke. Be brave and offer it up, but also take care of Brother Donkey, your body.

    (I guess, in our case, it would be Sister Jenny! Because a jenny is a female donkey.)

  • Beautiful, authentic, and just what I needed today. I’ve been there, Calah, both with suffering from PPD and right now I’m afraid some intense spiritual aridity. Thankfully, I’m awfully stubborn and keep showing up at Mass even when though the invisible seems almost impossible right about now.

  • Somebody should be coming in to relieve you at certain times.  I recommend Eucharist (daily if possible) taken with lots of tears.  Tears contain stuff that we need to get out of our system.  I find that if I let myself cry for 30 minutes or so, praying all the while, I feel so much better.  Also, fish oil, vitamins, wholesome foods, not many sweets.  I think you’re depleted after such a long and difficult pregnancy.  God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • Such a powerful posting born out of all that is real.  Thank you for hanging in there and saying it as it is.

  • I’m sure you know this already, but St. Therese and Mother Teresa also struggled with the same experiences. At least knowing you share their company may help? God bless!

  • Even pain bears fruit.  I have just shared the substance of your posting with a friend who has struggles…different to yours but struggles.  Your posting was the chink of light that she needed.  Thank you.  Nothing is wasted.

  • Calah, that was so beautiful and real.  I’ve been there, too.

    I also wanted to say a word of caution to the good-intentioned people who have suggested that she needs a break.  I realize that these sentiments come from a caring place, but I remember that hearing people say that to me when I was struggling through postpartum made me nuts, especially and particularly if it didn’t come with a “…and I’ll be over to your house tomorrow morning,” which it unfortunately rarely did.  I guarantee that Calah already knows that she needs a break, so telling her she does isn’t providing any information she doesn’t already know.  In addition, hearing something like that when you are already severely depressed adds in the potential anxiety and feelings of total overwhelmingness that come with knowing you must take a break and then trying to make that happen yourself.  Quite honestly, the thought of calling a babysitter, asking a friend to come over or even asking for help from your family or husband seems overwhelming.  So, then you feel guilty for not being able to pull even that together, and the cycle gets worse and deeper. 

    Like I said, I know it comes from a caring place.  But if you find that those words are about to pass your lips and travel into the post-partum ear of a mother, make sure you follow them up with a specific plan for how you yourself will help.  Don’t suggest, don’t offer.  Just say you’re coming over and tell her when and with what.

    Hang in there, Calah.

  • Hi Calah,

    I have five children (the youngest is 5) and I suffered with PPD with each and every one.  There were times when I could see only darkness.  My days would drag on and on and I remember wanting to reject God for the suffering I was going through.  The idea of a loving Father and my pain were irreconciable.  And to be completely honest, I got so much advice – much of it like I see posted here – that really ticked me off.  I mean, if I could have gotten help, I would have.  And I did exercise and I did take supplements and I breasfed and I co-slept and, and, and… and none of it really helped alleviate the pain. The LAST thing I could think of was monitoring my fertility so we simply abstained for at least 6 months until I could get my head around everything.

    I know people are well-intentioned with their advice, but I find recovering from PPD to be extremely personal and individual.  I so appreciate your honesty.  I felt abandonned by God and I was so resentful.  Here I was trying to obey Holy Mother Church and live an authentic Christian life and I felt awful!  I just couldn’t accept that my calling was to suffer all the time.  I felt so alone, it was some of the worst days of my life!

    What kept me going, and frankly still keeps me going when I am worn out and feeling like a fraud for not being the poster child for “happy, Catholic, NFP-loving wife and mother” is a sense of duty and the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the way, the Truth and the Life.  Sometimes it is this fact ONLY that gets me to church or to say the rosary or to look at my kids and realize, yes, sometimes we ARE called to suffer.

    I will be praying for you and all who are carrying the cross of suffering right now.  Thank you for reminding me of both the “visible and invisible.”