Good Old Fashioned Granola
Hi friends. Gosh, I’d be lying if I told you I had an easy time deciding what to share with you today – so many ideas floating through my head. As an extension from the last cereal post, and from my posting on “Unhealthy Health Foods” over at Clean Eating Chelsey, I decided to focus on a food that has quite the health reputation (both good and bad) and is totally, addictingly, delicious – granola!
In my last post I listed the top 5 cereals i’ve been reaching for. I told you what to look for (high fiber!) and what to avoid (high sugar!) and over at CEC I told you that granola is one of those foods that everyone thinks is healthy, but is often more of a nutritional nightmare thanks to the high fat and sugar and very little fiber that is delivered in each delicious bite.
But here’s the thing: While I’ve shared with you my favorite cereals, and what to watch out for in cereals and granola’s that we are inundated with at the grocery store, I haven’t shared with you the fact that I try and make a conscious effort to go through each day eating as little processed foods as possible. And as amazing as the nutritional stats say, I often believe that the closer the food is to single, unprocessed ingredients, the better. You do the combining – making the perfect concoction of protein, fiber, sugar and carbohydrate from a handful of foods – to nourish you at each meal.
That said, I’m just as busy as the rest of us, and I know that sometimes we don’t always have the time (or energy) to give our meals the attention they need. And when that’s the case I like to be prepared. I like to have pre-calculated smart-breakfast choices in my head so the thought is minimal and the nutrition delivered is optimal. While reaching for a purchased box of ‘clean’ cereal, like Kashi Go Lean, is a great option, why not spend a little time over the weekend mixing up a giant batch of oats, nuts and dried fruit that you can top on your Fage, or use as a base for your fresh berries (which are amazing right now) and milk.
This granola won’t disappoint.
It’s has the perfect combination of fat, sweetness and crunch
After starting with the base of rolled oats, the add-in options are endless.
And my favorite aspect: It has an ingredient list you can understand from start to finish
Make a huge batch, which will last in your pantry for up to 6 weeks or your freezer for months (though with a husband who likes it maybe more than I do, my batch somehow rarely makes it 2 weeks)
Devine Granola (Yield: “a lot” of ¼ cup servings)
3c rolled oats
1T ground Flax
1/3c coconut flakes
2T sunflower seeds
2T sesame seeds
1c chopped nuts – such as almonds, walnuts and pecans
1/2c dried fruit
1/4c canola oil (or blend canola and coconut oil, which is delicious)
1T Pure Maple Syrup
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Combine dry ingredients, except for dried fruit.
Combine oil and sweeteners.
Pour over granola making sure all is coated.
Pour into a deep baking pan.
Bake ~1.5 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes.
Remove once granola is golden brown and add dried fruit.