Guest Author - Meredith Ball
There are few foods more delicious than a sweet, crunchy granola. The health benefits of granola are amazing due to the fact that the rolled oats are jam-packed with antioxidants, fiber, protein, manganese and vitamin B1. All of these nutrients help to lower cholesterol and keep our hearts healthy. The nuts added to the granola are also high in protein and contain healthy fats for our hearts. Feel free to experiment with adding different types of nuts or dried fruits that are your favorites. Not only is granola healthy and delicious, it is super easy to make.
Your all organic ingredients are as follows:
4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup crushed whole almonds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
In one bowl, mix the rolled oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, salt and wheat germ.
In another bowl, whisk together the flaxseed oil, maple syrup, water, vanilla extract and brown sugar.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl and mix thoroughly. The mix will look shiny and moist when mixed well.
Then, on a prepared pan, spread the mix evenly to cover the entire pan.
Bake for twenty minutes, remove and stir. Stir in raisins at this time if using them. Then, bake for another ten minutes until browned and crisp.
Set aside to cool so the granola becomes crunchy. It is important to let it cool entirely so that the granola sets and becomes crunchy. It may be tempting to begin eating it before it cools, but this will effect the texture so wait at least twenty minutes before eating the granola.
Different healthy ways to enjoy your granola are:
1. Just plain - crunch away.
2. In a bowl with organic no-fat milk.
3. Sprinkled on top of mango sorbet.
4. Mixed with organic low-fat yogurt and fresh strawberries and blueberries.
5. Sprinkled on top of a slice of toasted whole-grain bread spread with raw, unsalted peanut butter.