Granola tops the list of “health foods” that can be….well…not so healthy. Many store-bought granolas are often loaded with excess refined sugar, sodium, and fat (sensing a theme here with my posts?) Making your own version at home can reclaim some of the health benefits associated with granola and once you realize how simple it is to make, I promise you will never go back to the store-bought version again!
Granola is typically made from whole oats, which contain beneficial fiber and B vitamins. I like to load mine with nuts and seeds which are a great plant based protein and also contain heart healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids. Adding some dried fruit can help boost the phytonutrient content and chia seeds and ground flax can give you a bit of omega 3 fatty acids. This perfect combination of fiber, protein and fat can help keep you full for a longer period of time which is perfect if granola is something you are including in your morning routine.
My favorite way to eat granola is on top of my smoothie bowl (see recipe archive for green smoothie bowl post.) It also works great on top of yogurt, with milk, or sprinkled on top of oatmeal for an added crunch.
Since the holidays are just around the corner, this granola would make for a delicious and healthy DIY gift too! Put it in a jar, add some festive ribbon and you are all set to go. With Christmas (and my birthday!) less than 3 weeks away, it’s time to get in the holiday spirit!!
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped (walnuts, almonds or cashews)
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup honey or pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine all the ingredients (except the egg white and dried fruit) in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until light and frothy.
- Stir egg white into granola mixture.
- Spread mixture in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
- About half way through the baking time, use a spatula and carefully turn over sections of granola.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Once cooled, sprinkle in dried fruit and transfer to airtight container.