Granola = a mixture typically of rolled oats and various added ingredients (such as brown sugar, raisins, coconut, and nuts) that is eaten especially for breakfast or as a snack (source: Merriam-Webster)
While there are a handful of fairly decent packaged granolas available on the market, they’re not always easy to find. As with most packaged food products, it behooves you to take a few minutes to examine the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list when comparing brands. Depending on how you incorporate granola into a meal or snack (i.e., with liquid of choice, yogurt, or just by the handful) AND depending on your level of physical activity (and when your exercise is planned), you may or may not need a heavy hit of carbohydrate and the added sugar found in the mainstream granolas. Remember one of the golden rules for nutrition recommendations: it depends.
What that means is granola can be high carb or low carb (which can also imply high added sugar or low added sugar) and/or high fat or low fat. Protein content is typically low for the standard granola recipe. Again, what you “need” really depends on your individual context.
I’ve been making my own granola for years and thought it would be fun to gradually add the recipes I tinker with to the blog. Although some folks may perceive making your own granola as super time-intensive, it tastes so much better than the store-bought and affords you the opportunity to experiment.
This granola recipe has no classic added sugar like honey, brown sugar, or raisins. So, if you are sugar-dependent (and you know who you are), then this concoction will taste a bit bland to you. If you’re looking for a decent alternative to those sugar-laden granolas, then this one is for you.
Note: Calories still matter…from the perspective that you can still overeat calories, no matter if you eat a “low carb” or “high carb” granola. The energy density (“calories”) and how much you choose to eat cannot be neglected in the context of your day.
Alright, here’s the recipe (and I should note that I adapted this from an online recipe I can no longer find, formerly at Primalbitesblog.com):
1 c raw walnuts
1/2 c raw pecans
1/2 c raw almonds
1/2 c dates, pitted
1 c old-fashioned oats, dry
1/2 c unsweetened coconut flakes
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter, unsalted and melted
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
Pulse the first 4 ingredients in a food processor until chopped into small and varying sized pieces. Scoop into a large bowl.
Add the oats, coconut flakes, chia, sesame, cinnamon, and sea salt to the nut-date mix. Stir to combine.
Whisk together the butter, almond butter, vanilla extract, and coconut oil in a small bowl. If the almond butter has been refrigerated, you can warm it in the microwave to soften. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola mix evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly brown. Stir every 10-15 minutes.
Yield: 17 servings
Serving size: 1/3 cup
10 gm carbohydrate (3 gm fiber, 4 gm sugar)
4 gm protein
16.5 gm fat
Carb to Protein ratio = 2.5:1
As mentioned earlier, you can mix granola with a milk of your choice for a snack or combine with a protein-rich yogurt for a hearty post-workout munch. Let me know if you give it a whirl and how you like it. Post on Insta and tag @nutritionmechanic so I can get a glimpse of your granola goodness.
Your granola girl,