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Cooking With Kids: How to Make Granola Snacks & Easy Calzones

How To Make Granola and Easy Calzones With The Kids


by: D (Deanna) of  SpotLight316 Ministries

I am Deanna. All my friends call me D, so you can too! I am a wife, mom, and friend who wears many different hats. My primary role is that of wife and mom. I found the proverbial “beauty from ashes” in my own broken world and it is these very struggles that drive me to provide a space for others to fully express themselves and grow in the grace of God.

I have a little guy who loves to be in the kitchen. Actually, he loves to be doing whatever it is that I am doing no matter what room of the house it is in! On any given day, you will find my cute little blonde boy making beds, dusting, doing laundry, sweeping, and the like.

I wonder how long that will last?

I always let him help me in the kitchen. I love the memories we are making together and the one-on-one time we have. I love how proud he is to say, “I made that!” as we are eating dinner. And I love that he is learning a life skill at three. He’s not quite ready for Top Chef but I have a feeling that he may be the next Emeril Lagasse.

{A mom can dream…}

This week, Gavin and I made two special treats that I wanted to share with you.

First, I love to have some go-to snacks ready for Gavin. We have a drawer filled with things he is allowed to access fairly freely (granola bars, fruit bars, crackers, etc.). This week we tried some Homemade Granola. I’ve always heard that it was easy to make granola but never tried it. After making it this week, I am sad we didn’t venture there sooner!

Here is what you will need:

2 cookie sheets sprayed with cooking spray

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup pure maple syrup (you can also use honey if you wish)

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

6 cups quick cooking oats

2 cups of your favorite nut (or mix and match)

1 cup shredded coconut

other favorites like:

1 cup of sweetened, dried cranberries

1 cup chocolate chips and/or white chocolate chips

1 cup raisins

1 cup sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the oil, syrup (or honey), and brown sugar in a microwave safe mixing bowl. Microwave, uncovered until the sugar starts to melt, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk the mixture until all the lumps are dissolved. Of course, you can do this on the stovetop if you prefer.

Combine the oats, nuts, and coconut in a large bowl. Toss ingredients together to mix well.


Pour the syrup over the mixture and stir until well coated. Spread evenly onto the baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes. Be sure to watch…you don’t want the granola to get too brown!


Cool the granola on the cooking sheets for about an hour and then transfer to a large bowl. Toss in your other favorites and stir well to mix.


Store your granola in an air tight container.


Remember that you can use granola for more than just a snack too. You can sprinkle it on your cereal or yogurt. You can top off your ice cream or oatmeal. Just imagine the possibilities!

We ended our week with super simple calzones. A calzone is basically a piece of stuffed pizza and anyone can make them. This is a great dish to make on one of those crazy-busy nights with limited time. We use a tube of crescent dough for the crust. Unroll one half and press it a bit so it is no longer perforated. This is a great job for little hands.


Top it with your favorite pizza toppings. We used sausage and green peppers in one and ham and onions in the other. Unroll and press the other half and place it on top and seal the edges. Brush the top with butter or olive oil and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.




Serve with pizza sauce on the side. If you prefer, you can use pizza sauce inside, but then technically, I think that makes your calzone a stromboli.

There are lots of ways to make calzones and granola. I hope you have been inspired to choose your favorite recipe and invite your kiddo into the kitchen. Put your perfection on the back burner… Trade your neat and tidy kitchen for giggles and memories…And just get cooking!

Keepin’ it Real…D


  1. That granola and calzone look amazing! I have always wanted to try making homemade granola as well and after reading your post, I may just go for it!

  2. Love granola sprinkled on yogurt and this homemade version sounds like the perfect combination of flavors!

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