I love to start my day with delicious bowl of vanilla yogurt topped with some healthy granola. Granola can offer so many health benefits – the fiber, the protein and the whole grains. The downside? They are often loaded with sugar. And most of don’t know when to stop (or maybe I am just speaking for myself), which means tons of calories and tons of sugar. Rather than relying on store-bought granola, that could be loaded with sugar, why not make your own. It is super easy to do, you can monitor the ingredients, and then all of you have to do is monitor your intake.
Our Healthy Granola is simply divine. Made maple syrup, cranberries, almonds and coconut oil, this granola is loaded with ingredients that will really help you thrive.
The coconut oil is a secret health bomb that is just coming on the foodie and health scene. Coconut oil can help reduce appetite and increase fat burning, which means it aids in weight loss. A bit counterintuitive to think that this fat can aid in fat burning! Whoa! Additionally, those fatty acids in the oil have been linked to help preserving brain function and perhaps holding off Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, it has also been linked to heart health by decreasing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Finally, there are countless fans of coconut oil that use is for it’s benefits for the skin – as a moisturizer and even a sunscreen!
And cranberries! Who knew all the health benefits of berries?! It’s spring which means it’s berry season, particularly blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. In a recent study,women who ate strawberries and blueberries everyday were 34% less likely to have a heart attack. Both of these berries contain anthocyanin, which his known to have cardiovascular benefits by increasing the elastic in the artery walls. Cranberries, although traditionally found at the holidays, offer a big health benefit to women both in increasing HDL, but also minimizing urinary tract infections. Whew! Cranberries for the win!
And given that we are entering smoothie season, now is the perfect time to increase your intake of berries of all kinds. Smoothies are a simply and easy way to ensure you get your intake of fruits and vegetables in quick order. The Simply Smoothies app recently launched the Holistic Smoothies apps – 20 smoothies that have been known to help you ‘Dampen those Cramps’ or ‘Fight Fatigue’ with your diet, before relying on a pharmceutical.
Getting back to the granola…the best part of this granola is that you monitor the ingredients that go into your snack. By using maple syrup, there is no added refined sugar in the recipe, so you can feel comfortable giving this granola to even a young child who is still developing their taste buds. We did’t want to create any more sugar addicts in the US when we created this granola.
Check out the recipe below!
Healthy Homemade Granola
- 3 Cup Oats
- 1 Cup Sliced Almonds
- 3/4 Cup Pecans
- 4 Tablespoon (TBSP) Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Tablespoon (TBSP) Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cup Dried Cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Lightly grease two large rimmed baking sheets; or line them with parchment.
- combine the oats and nuts. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, stir and toss until everything is combined
- Spread the granola on the baking sheets
- Bake the granola for about 90 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes or so. You want to bring the granola at the edge in towards the middle, so it all browns evenly.
- When the granola is a medium golden brown, remove it from the oven and cool completely on the pans.
- Transfer the granola to a large bowl, and mix in the dried fruit.