February 15th, 2012

Book Review and Granola Recipe: Julia’s Child

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organic granola recipe

Over the past 6 months I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah Pinneo through our online connections. Sarah is articulate, passionate about the health of her family and undeniably funny. I was honored when she reached out and asked me to participate in the Julia’s Child  blog Julias Child tour.  Sarah is an established food journalist, blogger and  co-author of The Ski House Cookbook.

Her new book, Julia’s Child, tells the tale of Julia Bailey, a mompreneur who struggles with many of the same issues working parents are confronted with. Julia is desperately trying to balance her home life and the life of a start up food company specializing in making organic toddler meals. Her two small children and husband are longing for her to be home and the company is luring her in with the potential of turning a profit. Julia’s strife is real and easy to identify with. I found myself laughing out loud, nodding in agreement and wanting Julia to make the ‘right’ decisions.

One of my favorite moments in the book was when Julia was describing how her focus changed when her first child was born:

The impulse to be green and clean hit me like a ton of bricks…. Clearly more care and attention to foodstuffs would be necessary…. I learned that the first organic purchase many women ever make is a jar of baby food.

Throughout her fictional debut Sarah weaves credible foodie advice and healthy recipes that even the novice chef could create. I asked Sarah if she would share one of her famous recipes with us. Here’s what she had to say:

Sarah Pinneo KitchenThank you, Lori, for having me on Groovy Green Livin. I love this site, and when I was contemplating what recipe to share her today, one in particular seemed the obvious choice: Not-Too-Sweet Maple Pecan Granola!

Julia’s Child is the story of a self-described granola mom. The tag line of the book is: “a delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that $6 box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.” Balancing the desire to do good with the limits of time and money is a central theme of the story.

Readers often ask me whether I’m as “green” as Julia, and my answer is: nearly. But Julia must learn, between pages 1 and 279, how to reconcile her pristine goals with living in the real world.

Yet it should come as no surprise that at my house, we often make our own granola! I find that many commercial granolas have a lot more sugar than I’d like, and they also tend to taste stale. This recipe makes a big batch, but at our house it only lasts a few days. Enjoy!

Not-Too-Sweet Maple Pecan Granola


5 cups of rolled oats

1 cup of chopped pecans

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/8 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 300.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with the syrup and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Spread the granola evenly over a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 23 minutes. Turn off the oven, but allow the granola to remain inside for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and place on a rack. With a spatula, gently loosen the granola, pushing it from the edges inward. (This will prevent it from sticking.) Cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container.

Julia’s Child could be the next book I suggest for my book club to tackle. It is a worthwhile read, touching upon issues that many of us are confronted with at some point during our tenure as parents.

For more information on Sarah Pinneo stop by her site, Twitter, or find her on Facebook.

I’m looking forward to trying the granola recipe. Do you make your own granola?

Disclosure: There are a few Amazon links in this post. Any purchase of Sarah’s books will put a few pennies in my pocket. Thanks!

24 Responses to “Book Review and Granola Recipe: Julia’s Child”

  1. I menat to buy it when it came out, but I forgot. Thanks for reminding me and I did put a few pennies in your pocket via a kindle version purchase!!! 🙂

  2. I am so behind on my book reading, but I’ll have to put it on my list. My husband makes the best granola. I’ll have to forward the recipe!

  3. I would love your husband’s granola recipe Brenna! I stand in the granola aisle at the store skimming the ingredient list for all the store bought granola’s. I can’t bring myself to buy any!I like Sarah’s recipe, but could use a few more!

  4. I am adding the book and the recipe to must must eat, must read list. I FINALLY finished twilight so I have an open place for good reads. Yes, I read twilight.

  5. No problem Stephanie! Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for the purchase 🙂

  6. Sounds like a great book. I will add it to my list. The granola looks very yummy, I think I will have t try it.

  7. Thank you Lori, Brenna, Stephanie, and Marsha and Meg! ‘Tis true that homemade granola is worlds better than store bought.

  8. Sounds like an interesting read. Something for my summer reading list perhaps?

    Thanks for sharing the granola recipe too – We eat tons of granola at my house, I’ll have to give your recipe a try. Peace. 😉

  9. Marsha, it was a good read. I think you would enjoy it. Let me know if you make the granola. It’s on my list too.

  10. I think almost everyone has read Twilight Meg. You are not alone! Julia’s Child is a good read-not quite Twilight-but worth it!

  11. Hi Michelle, I think Julia’s Child would be a great summer read. Enjoy the granola!

  12. Hi Sarah, I can’t wait to try the granola recipe. I love granola and haven’t found a store bought version that doesn’t have over the top amounts of sugar.

  13. I LOVE homemade granola. The house smells so good for so long when I make it. I look forward to trying this recipe next.

  14. I do make my own granola! I’m going to try turning off the oven and leaving the granola and see if that makes it crispier.

    I also make granola bars — hoping to post the recipe soon. Took me a while to come up with a recipe that we liked!

  15. Oh this granola recipe sounds awesome!!

  16. I love granola. Homemade is sooo good and so easy. This recipe looks yummy – just repinned it. I have a couple of recipes I like. I’ll have to post them at some point.
    @Meg – I read all 4 Twilight books and am kicking myself that I’ve only seen the first 2 movies! gotta love a good teen vampire book!

  17. It does sound yummy Alicia! I’m planning to give it a try soon. Let me know if you beat me to it.

  18. I would love to see some of your granola recipes Kristina. I have to say granola is one of my fav foods. I read a few of the Twilight books. I saw the first movie and I couldn’t get beyond how white the characters looked.

  19. Hi Betsy, I would love to see your recipe for granola bars. Thanks for sharing the link for your granola recipe.

  20. I love the smell too Lisa. Do you have any granola recipes to share?

  21. I make my own granola, too. My favorite tip is to use parchment paper on the rimmed sheet: it keeps the granola from excessive darkening around the edges of the sheet. My all-time favorite recipe is the one from the New York Times, the Eleven Madison Park recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/magazine/recipe-eleven-madison-park-granola.html (except do NOT use that amount of salt the recipe calls for, or it will be insanely salty; try a tsp instead, at most).

  22. Great tip Julia and thanks for sharing the recipe. How did your Julia’s Child granola turn out?

  23. […] There is a great recipe in the novel, Julia’s Child (affiliate link–>Julia’s Child). The author, Sarah, explains her reason for making […]

  24. […] the good stuff.  Stan’s cookbook has a few more simple snacking ideas.  There are so many great granola recipes out there. Stan’s cookbook has several pages dedicated to granola-and I love that they’re all […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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