Granola has the potential to become a healthy snack. By this I mean that there are healthy versions of granola and there are unhealthy versions of granola. Let’s start by describing what to look for when you purchase granola. As with any packaged product or any product you buy in the “bulk” section of your local health food store, you want to look at the ingredient list.
Ingredients to avoid
- Unnatural sweeteners– eg. cane sugar, agave
- Low-quality cooking oils: eg. canola oil, safflower oil
- Food additives: eg. corn starch
You also want to look for a nice variety of ingredients. Instead of choosing a granola that is primarily made up of carbohydrates (oats, sugar, dried fruit), you can choose a granola that has a nice mix of carbohydrates, protein and fats (grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit). This is an important differentiation because it drastically lowers the sugar content and increases the nutrient intake.
Fall-Spiced Homemade Granola With Quinoa
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3 cups
- 2 Tablespoons Flaxseeds
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1/2 cup Cashews, chopped in half
- 1/2 cup Almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- pinch of Cloves (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3 dried figs, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- Turn oven on to 375 degrees F. Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Grind flaxseeds in a spice grinder, blender or coffee grinder.
- Combine ground flaxseeds and dried figs with the rest of the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.
- Heat a small saucepan, add the wet ingredients and whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients over dry ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Spread mixture out evenly on baking tray. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to flip granola then spread out evenly again. Place in oven for another 7-10 minutes or until toasted.
Note: Make sure to check the granola so that it does not burn! It will be fragrant and look lightly toasted.
7. Remove from oven to let cool. Add dried figs. Store in a glass jar for up to a week.
Tips for saving $$
- Buy ingredients from the “bulk” section of your local health-food store. You can buy exactly the amount you need and it is WAY cheaper.
- Buy a packet of mixed nuts instead of buying once packed of almonds and one packet of cashews. With mixed nuts you have to make sure they are raw, unsalted and that there is no cooking oil added.