Granola is my favorite snack. I have it on top of yogurt every single day! I have a weakness for any kind or any flavor, but I like making my own because I can control the sugar level and what other ingredients are in it. You may want to double the batch because it goes quick! This is also dairy and egg free - the perfect thing for anyone with food intolerances! It is heart healthy due to the whole grain oats and the flax seed, a is good source of omega-3 fatty acids!
Key Nutrients and tricks:
- Aside from being a blank canvas, oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates that runners and athletes need. They keep us energized and fueled for long runs or workouts, and do not cause an immediate spike in blood sugar. Oats are also high in fiber, specifically beta-glucan, a polymer of glucose. This type of fiber can help lower blood cholesterol and insulin resistance, which can help reduce the likelihood of obesity.
- The coconut, flax seeds, and chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and when the chia seeds are exposed to moisture in our stomachs, they expand keeping us fuller for longer. Flax seeds are great for digestion and have been proven to help lower cholesterol.
- I love the combination of cranberries and almonds, but feel free to add dried apricots, raisins, dates, pecans, walnuts, or anything else that sounds good to you!
3 1/2 cups regular old-fashioned oats
1 cup flax seed, ground
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup of honey
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup of coconut sugar (substitute brown sugar)
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries, raisins, or dried apricots
½ cup of raw, slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, or cashews
Optional add ins-
1 cup of puffed rice
½ cup of dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, stir together oats, flax, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and chia seeds.
- In a saucepan, combine the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla. Heat over low heat until mixture is warm/ fluid and coconut oil is completely liquefied.
- Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients, stirring until evenly coated.
- Spread mixture onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toasted (stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even browning).
- Take granola out and set on stove and let it completely cool. Don’t touch it or mix! This allows it to become crunchy!
- Once cool, break granola into clumps and stir in cranberries and almonds.
- Store granola in an airtight container or large bag.