Store-bought granola can be really tasty but it usually contains a lot of sugar, unhealthy oils, and unnecessary additives. It is pretty easy to make at home using much healthier ingredients. You can control how much sugar you add and you can use healthy oils in it. It makes your house smell great and is really delicious as well. I found a fantastic homemade granola recipe from Elizabeth Rider that I would like to share with you.
Use organic, raw ingredients if you can. You can buy whole, rolled oats in the bulk section or you can find them in the cereal aisle. Avoid buying the instant or quick-cooking oats because those are highly-processed.
Nuts and seeds add extra nutrients, texture, protein, and delicious flavor to the granola. Try to buy raw nuts and seeds when possible. You can also add unsweetened dried fruit and use less sweetener in the recipe if you do that.
I like to use coconut oil because it’s full of nutrients and adds a really nice light flavor to the granola, but you can use any healthy oil you like the taste of. Macadamia nut oil would also be great, I would stay away from olive oil because it has such a strong flavor. Oils high in omega-3 fats, life flaxseed oil, are extremely good for you but should be avoided here as well because they’re meant to be consumed raw and go rancid when heated (omega-3’s don’t like heat at all-don’t cook with them).
To sweeten, I prefer organic grade-b maple syrup or raw organic honey. Grade-B maple syrup is actually better than grade-a as it contains more nutrients and slightly less sugar than it’s grade-a counterpart. Local raw organic honey is also a great option, especially if anyone your cooking for suffers from seasonal allergies–local raw honey that hasn’t been pasteurized will contain small traces of local pollen that can actually help with allergy issues (a little homemade homeopathy).
Again, go easy on the sweetener to keep the sugar content down. Always avoid white, highly processed sugars and artificial sweeteners–read the labels of the maple syrup and honey and make sure the only ingredients in the bottle are maple syrup (no corn syrup) or honey.
This basic recipe below makes about three cups of granola – ½ cup is typically a serving. Serve it as cereal with unsweetened, non-dairy milk (I prefer it with unsweetened almond milk), put it in unsweetened Greek yogurt, or just eat it plain.
Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20 min
2 cups raw, whole rolled oats (aka old fashion oats)
½ cup raw nuts, chopped
¼ cup raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great)
½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional)
2-3 tablespoons grade-b maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil or other healthy cooking oil
½ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
1 large pinch fine sea salt
Recipe: Preheat the oven to 300º F. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your clean hands to mix well and toss to coat; it will be sticky and messy but that’s the fun part. The coconut oil might be liquid or solid depending on the temperature of the room you are in (it has a melting point of about 75ºF.) Your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture if it’s solid, just be sure to mix it all through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks of oil left. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted. (To make this recipe completely raw-friendly, dehydrate the mixture 5-6 hours at 115ºF in a food dehydrator instead.) Cool before serving or storing. This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator at home and in a BPA-free plastic bag when traveling.
Source: Elizabeth Rider
Image Source: Migle