I had the cutest and funniest conversation with my 4 year old daughter Lily the other day. We were driving home from school and I was telling her how I thought we should try making our own granola. She was so excited and came up with an entire plan on what we should put into it and how we should mix in some maple syrup and coconut oil. And then put it all in the dehydrator. I honestly have no idea how she knew all of this and to say I was proud is an understatement lol...and I was also shocked at her knowledge of this kind of thing. Ohhh my little mini me...love her!
Needless to say, we made a batch of granola and wow let me tell you....so easy, delicious, nutritious and the perfect snack and food to add to your pantry. I love, love, love when I know exactly what my family and I are eating and I am aware of every single ingredient. It's SUCH an incredibly rewarding feeling!
The health benefits to eating granola are endless and it also depends on what ingredients you choose to include:
Granola has a wealth of health benefits, including its ability to lower cholesterol, regulate digestion and aid in weight loss
granola contains an abundance of dietary fiber which helps regulate digestion and prevents constipation. It may also help control your blood sugar
Nuts, Seeds and oils are ingredients found in Granola. They are a good source of healthy fats. Remember...there really is such a thing as good fat!
granola is a great energy booster and it's a concentrated source of energy that isn't filled with sugars
granola is nutrient dense and is an excellent source of vitamin E and manganese
The amazing thing about making granola is that the sky's the limit and there aren't too many 'rules.' You can be as creative as you want and add as many or as little ingredients, depending on your tastebuds. In terms of how you use your granola, you can eat it as a cereal, yogurt topper, smoothie bowl topper or pack it on the go as a snack. Here are some suggestions on what you can add to your granola.
granola INGREDIENT SUGGESTIONS:
NUTS: ALMONDS | CASHEWS | PECANS | PISTACHIOS | WALNUTS
seeds: CHIA SEEDS | flaxseeds | pumpkin seeds | SESAME SEEDS | sunflower seeds
dried fruits: apricots | BLUEBERRIES | cranberries | figs| goji berries
spices: cardamon | cinnamon | ginger | nutmeg
Yummy Add-ons: cacao nibs | dark chocolate chips | SHREDDED COCONUT
Below is a recipe I tried for my granola but once again, you can use any combination of dry ingredients but try to stick to these quantities/measurements.
Serves: 4-6 Time: 35 minutes
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw nuts, chopped (almonds)
- 1/4 cup raw seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (I didn't add in dried fruit to my batch but this is the amount that could be added)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch fine sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
3. Add in maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Mix well. It might be easier to mix it with clean hands...it's a bit messy but who doesn't enjoy getting messy in the kitchen?!
4. Spread the mixture onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the mixture is lightly browned. You can easily burn granola so keep an eye and toss the mixture every 5 minutes to ensure everything is baked well.
5. Like Lily mentioned to me in our fabulous granola conversation, you can also dehydrate the mixture in your dehydrator 125 degrees F until the mixture reaches your ideal consistency. At such a low temperature, it will take much longer but the granola will then be completely raw. I highly recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator and this is the model I have. It's nothing fancy looking but it does the trick.
I'm realllllly hoping I have convinced you to try making your own granola and skip the store-bought kind. I'm all about simple, healthy and easy recipes and this is definitely all three. And like I mentioned before, there is nothing more rewarding than nourishing your beautiful body with homemade, wholesome foods full of amazing nutrients.