Mmmm – Improve your day with a Great Granola Recipe

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We have been told many times that one of the most important meals of the day is Breakfast, yet we often choose to skip it or grab the first thing in our way to work. Think about it, your body has been without food for at least 8 hours, sometimes 12, and needs energy to go through the day. This applies especially for children and their school performance.

Cereal tends to be the first option and let’s face it, we are fueling our body mainly with sugar… A recent report by the Environmental Working Group reviewed 84 popular brands, finding comparisons of the sugar content with some popular cookies and snack cakes.

At nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, three cereals (Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, and General Mills Wheaties Fuel) weigh in with 20 grams of sugar in a one cup serving. (Equivalent to FIVE teaspoons of sugar) — roughly the same as one Twinkie snack cake.  Here are the worst 10 children’s cereals as written up at http://today.msnbc.msn.com

Based on percent sugar by weight:

1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks 2. Post Golden Crisp 3. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallows 4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 6. Quaker Oats Oh!s 7. Kellogg’s Smorz 8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 9. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries10. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original

Source: Environmental Working Group

A single one-cup bowl of an additional 44 cereals, including the popular Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks and Cap’n Crunch, are equivalent to eating three Chips Ahoy cookies (about three teaspoons of sugar).

This means we will have a lot of energy for a little while and then will have a big LOW. As shown in these previous findings, most commercial cereals are packed with sugar. Why? Because kids and adults loooove and CRAVE sugar.

Well, our love and responsibility towards our kids should reflect in the food we have available for them. With that thought in mind, here is a quick, healthy, Granola Recipe (Well, not really mine… passed along from hand to hand and modified over time). My kids LOVE to have it for breakfast and it is a handy snack for them to have when they come back from school:

Healthy Granola Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 cup of coarsely chopped Pecans (substitute for any other nuts -Walnuts, Almonds etc-)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded Coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground Cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon of Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (Kosher or Sea salt is better. Some table salts have sugar in them)
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of Sunflower oil (Coconut oil will work as well)
  • 2 cups of assorted Dried Fruit ( Cranberries and Dates are some of my favorites)

Preparation

  1. Preheat Oven to 300 F ( Nuts shouldn’t be roasted at high temperatures). Have 2 cookie sheets ready. Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Stir honey and oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth.
  3. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss well. 
  4. Spread over the two baking sheets.
  5. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes for about 40 minutes.
  6. Let Granola cool down and mix in fruit.

Store air tight ( It lasts about a week) and ENJOY!

Yield : About 10-12 cups

Some recipes call for 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. I find it sweet enough as it is, specially when the dried fruit I’ve added are dates. They are really sweet! However, some people prefers it with a bit of brown sugar, so it’s your choice.

Mix of Oil and honey ready to be poured over the Oat mixture Granola Mix ready to go in the oven on baking sheets
Mix of Oil & Honey ready to be poured in the Oat mixture Granola on Baking Sheets ready to go in the oven

 

Granola ready to eat with mix dried fruits in it
Granola ready to eat. Dried fruits in it.