I received a request to “healthify” a granola recipe by a reader on my Facebook page. Granola is seen as a healthy food by a lot of people but surprisingly this “health” food can in fact be very unhealthy. Many are laden with sugar and the combination of the sweetener and dried fruits make it a very high glycemic food.
I make my recipe with just ¼ cup of honey and it is plenty sweet. I add a lot of nuts and seeds for protein, fiber and nutrition. I don’t add dried fruit to my granola, but you can add what you like. I typically eat it with a bit of plain yogurt and fresh berries or chopped apple. Another way to enjoy granola is like a trail mix – a few dark chocolate chips and you have a dessert worthy healthy treat with lots of fiber, vitamins and great crunch! We also sometimes spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a banana and roll it around in the granola – this is fun for the kids to make. What are your favorite ways to eat granola?
Make a big batch of this and keep it around for when you want to satisfy your urge to eat something crunchy and satisfying. Pack it in the kid’s lunches for a healthy boost to their lunch and keep them going all day long!
Chef Kirsten’s Granola
Melt in a large mixing bowl:
2 Tb raw honey
2 Tb natural peanut or almond butter
Mix together, add:
¼ cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
2 Tb oil – light olive oil or melted coconut oil work great
2 cups organic rolled oats – gluten free if necessary (not the quick cooking kind)
½ cup almonds (or walnuts or nut of your choice)
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds or other seed of your choice)
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix everything until completely coated. Spread out on a nonstick baking sheet. In a 350 degree oven bake for 10 minutes. Toss well, bake 5 minutes, toss again, bake 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. As it cools it will crisp up and completely dry. When completely cool place in an airtight container or plastic zipper bags. Enjoy!