Who doesn’t love granola? It adds a yummy crunch to yogurt, it makes an easy portable snack and it is just plain good! Lately I have been buying an organic granola bar with a pretty good ingredient list from the store. However the last few variations I have purchased have been SOO sweet it was unreal. Not to mention the carb and sugar content was as bad if not worse than regular granola (granted it came from better sources).Thus it was good timing to try my own recipe.
I created this recipe by slightly adapting one I found on the back of a package of “Let’s Do…Organic” Fancy Grade Coconut Flakes. These coconut flakes are huge flakes of coconut with no added sugar and no sulfites or preservatives. The original recipe made a granola like you would buy in a bag and put over yogurt or have as cereal. I wanted a granola bar I could have on hand for a nutritious snack so I took a shot at it and it worked!
3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I might try coconut flour next time)
1 cup “Let’s Do…Organic” Coconut Flakes
1/8 cup flax seed
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Heat Oven to 300*
Mix oats, flour, coconut, cinnamon and almonds in bowl. In a separate bowl mix brown rice syrup, maple syrup, oil and vanilla then pour over oat mixture- mix well. Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour mixture into pan and press down with spatula. I used a 9×13 pan and it was just a little too big- decide how thick you want the granola and choose a pan size from there. Baking times will vary depending on thickness- you want it to be a mostly dry, firm and hard but not burnt or solid rock as it will harden as it dries as well. I baked mine for about 45 minutes.
If you want to make regular granola instead of bars- pour mixture into pan or cookie sheet with edges and spread out. Bake 30 minutes then mix and bake another 30 minutes. Also the original recipe called for 1/2 cup maple syrup (no brown rice syrup, flax, or wheat bran).
What is good for you in this tasty treat?
Oats– high in soluble fiber and a source of good fat. (Yes- there is GOOD fat) Oat’s fiber helps you feel full longer and helps lower bad cholesterol and boost good. Oats are also are a good source of Vit. B, E, calcium and protein. Plus using natural rolled oats gives you more goodness without the sugar and artificial junk in instant oatmeal.
Almonds– Another great source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6, and calcium (one of highest in plant forms- eat up vegans!) Great for your heart (in moderate amounts), skin, arthritis, and protection against cancer. Almonds take longer to digest in the body which helps you feel full longer- great for dieters (be sure to chew well!). I love them soaked as a snack! (Place a small handful in a bowl or tupperware and cover with water- let sit for a few hours or overnight. This makes them softer, easier to digest and the nutrients are multiplied and easier to absorb.)
Coconut– While coconut is high in fat it is a good kind of fat containing medium chain fatty acids which the body uses as energy rather than stores. The type of medium chain fatty acids found in coconut also have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.