Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I took the GRE this morning. It is, if you allot yourself all the time given for each of the seven (!) sections (two essays, two verbal, two math, and one wild card- if you will- of either verbal or math), 235 minutes of testing. This testing began at 7:30 in the morning. Plus you had to arrive half an hour early to go through a security system that makes TSA look like they aren’t even trying. It is something else, being searched with a metal detecting wand for… calculators?

You need a quality breakfast pre-GRE (<< that would sound funny if you pronounced GRE as a word rather than a series of initials). May I recommend granola?


This is good granola. I made up the recipe. It is good pre-GRE (it’s just making me laugh now) food for several reasons.

1. It is the ideal easily packaged, easily transported, on-the-go breakfast
2. It is eaten easily. This is important when you are in a rush and perhaps finishing it in the lobby of a testing center. You eat it with your fingers and pop it in your mouth. It is also not loud and embarrassing to eat, like a crunchy apple.
3. It is filled with fiber and nutrients for sustained energy. And a touch of omega-3 from flax, which is good brain food, right? Right?
4. It is gentle on your stomach, which is advisable if you are eating 2 1/2 hours prior to your typical breakfast time.

And finally, of course

5. It tastes good. On a big day, you want a breakfast that tastes good.

Lookit that texturally varied goodness!


I like my granola with textural variety; don’t you?

Here are some fun facts about this recipe: it originated with the massive container of applesauce languishing (<<GRE word) in my refrigerator after my sister went back to school. Then it evolved because she had also abandoned some rather disgusting Diet V8 V-Fusion acai berry whatever concoction in our fridge. So I dumped some of that in, too. Oh, on top of the fridge there’s some stale shredded wheat? Sure, toss that in too!

The point of this is that this is a lighthearted, free spirited recipe. Add what you like. Unsurprisingly from me, it’s also not terribly sweet, because I don’t like horribly sweet granola and in a happy coincidence, less sugar also means more healthy.

Applesauce Granola

6 c regular oats
3/4 c shredded wheat, broken into chunks, or a cereal of your choosing
1/4 c flax meal
1/4 c wheat germ
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
large pinches of nutmeg, ginger and cardamom
1/2 t kosher salt
3 T oil
1 1/4 c applesauce
¾ c. V8 V Fusion Light or juice product in a flavor of your choosing

Preheat oven to 300. Mix together granola ingredients in a large bowl until dry ingredients are coated with liquid. Using a spatula, scrape them out of their bowl and onto a large, greased baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stopping every fifteen minutes or so to flip (I used a large metal spatula) the mixture in large chunks, trying to move outside chunks to the inside and vice versa. I took it out of the oven when golden.


The granola is decidedly CHEWY, rather than crisp. That is how I like my granola. If you like yours crisp, I would say to leave it in the oven longer… but honestly, this is a pretty lean recipe. Without the applesauce/juice moisture, by attaining crispness it would likely lose palatability and become rather DRY.

As it is now, it’s great. In milk, it tastes like a crumbled oatmeal cookie!


For my own peace of mind, I portioned the granola out into half cup servings into the innumerable tupperwares in my house. My mom made fun of me for this. But I have seen myself with an open hand and a big granola bag, and it ain’t pretty.

For those of you who follow these things (because granola is such a variable food and can occasionally have rather shocking nutritional facts), a 1/2 cup serving has somewhere in the family of 200 calories.

The best thing about this granola? I got a pretty damn good score.


MelindaRD said...

Hooray for the granola! Glad it did the trick. I had to take the GRE's twice. The worst part was that I was accepted to 2 PhD programs with my scores, but we moved overseas, and the second Master's I did after that did not require the GRE and either does the program I just applied to. Go figure! Good luck in your application process (I will assume you were not taking these for fun).

Shannon ~ My Place In The Race said...

UGH! I hated taking the GRE! Grrrr...

The granola looks so tasty :P