Recipe: Healthy Granola

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Granola is a food that most of us enjoy for the taste and texture, but consider to be a food that is too high in calories to enjoy regularly. However, the source of the ‘high calories’ is very important to consider. This recipe is wheat free and contains various sources of fibre and healthy fats that we could all use in our diet. The soluble fibre in the oats can help lower blood cholesterol. The pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds provide healthy fats and vitamin E in addition to fibre. The coconut oil provides flavour and medium chain fatty acids, which help your cells absorb nutrients amongst other benefits.  I like to have granola for breakfast with non dairy milk, such as Coconut Dream, and fresh berries. I find it to be a great source of steady energy that tastes great at the same time. Many friends that have tried this granola just love to eat it out of hand as a quick snack.

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup whole chia seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1tsp ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup honey or maple syrup or combination

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together oats, coconut, ground flaxseed, oat bran,  chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. In a small sauce pan, melt together honey and/or maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Pour liquid honey mixture over the oat mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread mixture evenly on shallow rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 min, remove from oven, use a spatula to stir the mixture to ensure even browning. Bake a another 15-20 minutes until granola is crunchy and browned to your desired level.  Add 1/2 cup of your favourite dried fruits after the granola cools, if desired. Store in an airtight container. Try a 1/3-3/4 cup serving size to see what amount fits your energy needs.

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