A Happy, Healthy Family

5.16.2016

Easy Maple Nut Granola



I think most people know by now that a breakfast of cereal with milk isn't the most nutritious. Still, many of us were raised on breakfast cereal and see it as an easy go-to during a hectic morning.

Aside from the issues with milk (which I'll address in a future post), most cereals, even the "healthy" ones, are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients and have very little protein. And although they're "fortified" with vitamins, doesn't it make more sense to just eat foods that naturally contain those vitamins instead of a cardboard-like flake or circle that is coated in them?

Granola, while most people probably consider it to be healthy, can be just as packed with sugar as kids' cereals. In fact, in checking out many granola ingredient lists, I found that sugar (often listed as cane sugar or molasses) is the second ingredient. Because granola often contains nuts as well, it can be much higher in fat (which is not bad, but you do need to be aware of it to control portion sizes) than traditional cereal, so eating a huge bowl of granola is not a great idea.

Here is a recipe for a granola that comes together in minutes, allows room for experimentation, and has just a few ingredients. It is not super-sweet (and you can completely omit the maple syrup if you want to go as low-sugar as possible) and is a great topping for fruit or plain Greek yogurt.

The fruit, not the granola, is the main attraction here.


If you're a longtime cereal-eater, try changing up your routine to get a more nutritionally-dense start to your day. Here's a good place to begin.


Easy Maple Nut Granola Print Friendly and PDF

Ingredients

3 c rolled oats
2 c nuts/seeds of your choice, chopped (I had pecans on hand for this batch, but you could also use almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds)
1/2 c raisins (or other dried fruit of your choice)
1 T ground cinnamon
2 T coconut oil, melted
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 T pure maple syrup (optional)
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, raisins, and cinnamon. Set aside.



3. In small bowl, combine coconut oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

This is such an easy recipe and is a great one for little kitchen helpers. Let them stir, talk about how to measure wet and dry ingredients, and let them smell the cinnamon and vanilla!

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir well (you need to really stir to make sure all of your dry ingredients get coated).
5. Spread in even layer on pan and bake for 25 minutes or until granola just starts to brown.

This batch with pecans smelled like Thanksgiving as it was baking!
6. Let cool completely then store in an airtight container.


Enjoy!




No comments:

Post a Comment