Home-made granola

Granola has always been a tricky food for me.  I couldn’t decide if it was healthy or not.  On one hand most of its ingredients are nutritious such as oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  On the other hand, it not low-calorie and basically all commercial varieties and many home-made ones are full of sugar in different forms and a large amount of added.  I recently saw a post from Food Babe about homemade granola.  I liked most of the ingredients but I didn’t like that it was loose like cereal instead of in clusters.  To me that’s the best part!  So I did some research and put something together.  It came out great!  It does have added sugar in the form of brown rice syrup and some coconut oil but very small amounts compared to what you will buy and many recipes you will find online.  Here goes:

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2 cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped raw walnuts

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup goji berries

3 tbsp brown rice syrup/maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 packets stevia (optional)

2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Use a food processor or coffee grinder to grind 1 cup of the oats into a fine powder. (My manual processor from Pampered Chef worked great.)
  3. Combine the ground oats with all the other dry ingredients.  Mix well.
  4. Combine the oil, syrup and vanilla in a sauce pan and heat just until it starts to bubble.
  5. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and mix until everything is coated.
  6. Spread mixture onto baking sheet and press down to make it flat but with no gaps.  Do this with wet hands so it doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  If it burns even slightly it will have a burnt flavor, especially the fruit.
  8. Allow to cool completely before breaking into chunk sizes of your choosing.
  • I used mainly organic ingredients.
  • Feel free to use a different type of nut, seed or dried fruit.  I avoided dried cranberries because they have added sugar and pecans are a high-fat nut but these two are more festive options if you prefer.
  • If you want a chewier version add egg replacer (equivalent of 2 eggs) to the mixture before baking.
  • You can bake at a lower temperature such as 250 for an hour if you want to use less heat.

This is not a low-calorie snack but it’s full or whole grains, fiber, protein and healthy fats without an excessive amount of added sweeteners and oil.

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