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A Healthier Granola

October 13th, 2013 | no comments

 

When you think granola, do you instantly think “healthy”? Don’t be fooled. While oats and nuts are typically the base of granola, sugar (in the form of white sugar, brown sugar, honey or agave nectar) is also found in larger than necessary quantities—some brands having as much sugar as a Hershey’s candy bar! Not so healthy. This is why I stay away from store-bought granola and make my own. Below, you will find my favorite recipe!

I’ve omitted the dried fruit and reduced the sweetener to cut back on sugar and honestly…this recipe is so tasty I don’t miss either one! It’s loaded with healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, low in sodium and sugar, and rich in fiber and protein. Did I mention tasty?

Note that because it contains nuts, it’s also generous on the calories. Keep your portions small (1/4 – 1/2 cup) and you won’t have to worry!

Some of my favorite ways to use granola:

  • Eat plain as a snack (portion ¼ cup servings into snack-size baggies)
  • Mix into yogurt
  • Sprinkle over fruit or sweet potatoes
  • Add as a topping to ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Eat as a cereal
  • Make your own fruit and yogurt parfait!

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Healthy & Easy Granola
Prep Time: 10 min; Total Time: 25 min; Serves: 6

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
½ cup unsalted nuts, chopped (almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia, or cashews)
¼ cup unsalted seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp safflower oil
½ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, tossing well to coat. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until very lightly toasted. Cool before serving or storing. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Serving size: ½ cup

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories: 260; Total Fat: 15 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Sodium: 0 mg;
Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams; Dietary Fiber: 5 grams; Sugars: 7 grams (Average granola has 12 grams of sugar per ½ cup serving); Protein: 7 grams

Not sweet enough? Add one extra tablespoon of honey or maple syrup! Caution—this will bump up the sugar to 10 grams per serving.

 

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