Granola is chock full of heart healthy ingredients.
Unfortunately, granola isn’t always as soulful and innocent as it may lead you to believe. While granola does contain many heart healthy ingredients, granola can also be high in fat, sugars and calories. In fact, despite your best intentions, eating a mere cupful for breakfast could set you back for the same amount of sugar, fat and calories as a dish of ice cream!
(and I don’t know about you, but given the choice, I’d go for the ice cream!)
The good news is that you can (a) seek out a healthier granola from your grocery store or (b) make your very own.
While there are some healthy alternatives in the grocery isle, I more often than not like to make my own, since it’s so ridiculously easy and delicious.
Piled high atop a dish of yogurt with hunks of banana slices, warm granola will make you wonder why you ever dared to purcahse the stuff in the first place.
Just be sure to keep the portion under control, as granola is almost entirely void of water while also being full of healthy fats, which makes it much more calorie dense than many of the other cereals out there.
A little goes a long way.
Add in some dried fruit like raisins, apricots or dates if you like fruity granola! Coconut is also a nice replacement for the sunflower seeds. Feel free to mix around some of the ingredients depending on what you have on hand. Enjoy!
- 2 cups rolled oatmeal
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup crushed flax seed (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- dash of sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Combine oatmeal, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Stir together maple syrup and olive oil in a separate dish. Add to oatmeal mixture and stir well.
- On a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non stick spray, spread granola mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt if using and place in oven for 10 minutes. Stir and return to oven for another 10 minutes. Granola is done when it is lightly golden in color and feels mostly dry. Be careful not to over cook! Enjoy warm from the oven or cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.