When I was in high school I started my day with a large fresh deli bagel and a soup bowl of cinnamon raisin granola with vanilla yogurt.
In other words, a sugar bomb.
And I could never figure out why I was sluggish yet shaky and starving an hour later, unable to eat anything until 11:40 lunch hour.
Around that time I began to nanny for a family who (gasp!) MADE THEIR OWN FOOD.
They made granola, baked bread, harvested basil when they wanted pesto, made birthday cakes from scratch and it not only intrigued me but completely lit me up.
The door to a whole new world opened up for me.
First my family thought it was fun, then they thought it was weird (because I made them taste everything I made and it wasn’t always great), and for years now they have been inspired and quite willing to be the lucky recipient of whatever might come out of this little kitchen of mine….except for that notoriously bad stir-fry night.
My family and boyfriend (now husband) also thought it strange that I could eat any food at any time-versus only “breakfast” food in the morning, “dinner” things in the evening, and a sandwich for lunch. I had started heating my dinner for breakfast and making omelets for dinner. When I introduced my granola that was great to eat anytime, anywhere…they no longer thought this “healthy eating” thing was so strange.
This recipe is simple, easily adaptable and quite forgiving. I’ve started to track every single time I make it because my husband will say, “That one! Make that one again!” and I’ve found it’s easier to look back on my notes than it is to recall when I was in the kitchen a week ago and three recipe creations later.
Granola is an awesome and nutritious convenience food, and here’s why:
- Almonds are a great source of riboflavin and L-carnitine, which are two brain nutrients vital to increased brain activity. They are a healthy mono-unsaturated fat making them super heart healthy.
- Cinnamon is long known to be a great blood sugar stabilizer.
- Honey, locally sourced and taken at a few teaspoons per day is a fantastic way to boost your body’s ability to alleviate allergy symptoms.
- Coconut oil has a high level of Lauric acid and medium chain fatty acid content helps to boost metabolism (among a myriad of other benefits).
- These ingredients are often found in many pantries, making this recipe easy to put together.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but if you have celiac make sure to purchase oats that are certified gluten-free.
- 8 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted and 1 tablespoon, set aside
- 1 cup raw honey
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Oil the baking dish (for granola's I use my big Pampered Chef stoneware roasting pan) with 1 tablespoon coconut oil to avoid granola sticking to the bottom and the soaking after that goes along with it.
- In a small saucepan on low, heat the coconut oil and raw honey.
- Pour into the pain, the oats through cinnamon ingredients and using clean hands, toss them together. I love the cool feel of the oats on my hands.
- When honey and coconut oil are melted and blended together well, drizzle onto granola ingredients and stir to combine.
- Set in oven, stirring every 30-45 minutes until done to your preference. Granola should begin to turn light brown and will have a light crunch to it.
- Let cool before serving.
What are your favorite granola ingredients?