You know how granola is one of those fake health foods? Like most protein bars: they scream, I’m healthy! Athletes eat me! That girl in your yoga class eats me! They’re fit because of ME!!!
Granola and protein bars are usually lying. Read the labels and you find nothing but sugar, sugar, weird chemicals, refined sources of protein, and more sugar. That’s what I found even while perusing the granola at Vitamin Cottage, unless I wanted to pay $7 for a bag of “raw” granola, which I’m pretty sure is secretly just oats. So I decided to make my own.
You could make some really healthy granola at home, depending on what you put in it. Play around with grains, nuts and seasoning until you get something that suits your needs. I just used what I had in my cupboards, and I came up with a really simple but pretty fantastic honey-nut granola.
Honey Nut Granola (makes about 2 cups)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- about 1/3 cup whole raw almonds
- 1/4 cup whole raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and foil and grease a baking sheet. Chop your nuts and mix with the oats in a large bowl. Add the honey, oil, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix with a spoon until everything is well-incorporated. You won’t really be able to stir this; use a downward motion with the spoon and turn the mixture frequently until it looks evenly coated.
Spread evenly on the baking sheet, but try not to let the mixture get to thin on the sides or have a lot of stray oats on the pan, as these outer edges will burn easier. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just getting toasty, stirring once (but, again, try not to let the granola stray on the edges of the batch). It might seem soft and soggy right out of the oven, but it’ll get crunchy as it cools. Let cool on the foil, then gently break it up and store in an airtight container.
Like I said, you can add lots of stuff to this granola: pumpkin seeds, millet, flax, maple, puffed rice, dried fruit…totally up to you. As it is according to my recipe, each 1/4 cup serving has about 125 calories – not bad! Just enough to add texture and a good dose of protein and healthy fat to a bowl of Greek yogurt and fruit…sans chemicals, refined sugar, and whatever else is in that scary suprmarket stuff.