GRANOLA #2

A healthy & delicious alternative to sugar packed store bought muesli! 

GRANOLA #2

Homemade Granola Recipe

A healthy & delicious alternative to sugar packed store bought muesli!

Whole oats are full of good-for-you fiber, high in protein, and contain vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium.  Be sure you are buying 100% pure whole rolled oats, nothing that says “instant” or “quick cooking.” (Instant/quick cooking oats = highly-processed/high-glycemic)

I like to use coconut oil because it’s full of nutrients and adds a really nice light flavor, but you can use any healthy oil you like the taste of. Macadamia nut oil would also be great, I would stay away from olive oil because it has such a strong flavor. Oils high in omega-3 fats, life flaxseed oil, are extremely good for you but should be avoided here as well because they’re meant to be consumed raw and go rancid when heated (omega-3’s don’t like heat at all-don’t cook with them).

I always add nuts and seeds to my homemade granola for flavor, texture, extra nutrients and added healthy protein. A small amount of unsweetened dried fruit is ok too, just make sure it’s unsweetened to keep the sugar content down. Add less sweetener if you add dried fruit.

To sweeten, I prefer organic grade-b maple syrup or raw organic honey. Grade-B maple syrup is actually better than grade-a as it contains more nutrients and slightly less sugar than it’s grade-a counterpart. Local raw organic honey is also a great option, especially if anyone you’re cooking for suffers from seasonal allergies–local raw honey that hasn’t been pasteurized will contain small traces of local pollen that can actually help with allergy issues (a little homemade homeopathy).

Again, go easy on the sweetener to keep the sugar content down. Always avoid white, highly processed sugars and artificial sweeteners–read the labels of the maple syrup and honey and make sure the only ingredients in the bottle are maple syrup (no corn syrup) or honey.

This basic recipe makes about three cups of granola – ½ cup is typically a serving. Serve it as cereal with unsweetened, non-dairy milk (I prefer it with unsweetened almond milk), put it in unsweetened Greek yogurt, or just eat it plain.

Measurements are flexible; don’t worry too much about being exact.

Ingredients:

·         2 cups raw, whole rolled oats (aka old fashion oats)

·         ½ cup raw nuts, chopped

·         ¼ cup raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great)

·         ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional)

·         2-3 tablespoons grade-b maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)

·         2 tbsp virgin coconut oil or other healthy cooking oil

·         ½ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract

·         1 large pinch fine sea salt

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 300º F. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your clean hands to mix well and toss to coat; it will be sticky and messy but that’s the fun part. The coconut oil might be liquid or solid depending on the temperature of the room you are in (it has a melting point of about 75ºF.) Your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture if it’s solid, just be sure to mix it all through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks of oil left. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted. (To make this recipe completely raw-friendly, dehydrate the mixture 5-6 hours at 115ºF in a food dehydrator instead.) Cool before serving or storing. This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator at home and in a BPA-free plastic bag when traveling.

My advice is to get creative! Use any combo of healthy ingredients to make it your own flavor. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Healthy Homemade Maple Almond Granola

·         2 cups raw, whole rolled oats

·         ½ cup sliced raw almonds

·         ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

·         2 tbsp maple syrup (100% real maple syrup)

·         1 tbsp raw honey

·         1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil

·         ¼ tsp vanilla extract

·         1 large pinch fine sea salt

Healthy Homemade Cherry Pecan Granola

·         2 cups raw, whole rolled oats

·         ½ cup raw pecans, chopped

·         ½ cup unsweetened dried cherries, chopped

·         ¼ cup raw sliced almond

·         ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

·         2 tbsp maple syrup (100% maple syrup, preferably grade-b)

·         1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil (aka coconut butter)

·         ¼ tsp vanilla extract

·         1 large pinch fine sea salt

P.S. Homemade granola will taste like burnt popcorn if you overcook it; keep it at a low temperature just for a 8-10 minutes to let it come together.

P.P.S. Oats are gluten-free by nature but most are held in facilities that contain gluten. Check the package label if you are concerned with any gluten content.

Enjoy!

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