Is granola actually healthy?
Granola’s oats deliver impressive numbers in fiber and iron, while nuts and seeds add heart-healthy, unsaturated fats and protein. Since granola should be part of a healthy breakfast routine, this gives you optimal control. The challenge with store-bought granola is the use of preservatives, fillers, food coloring, and additives.
In this recipe I’ve used avocado oil and avocado honey, because 70% of avocado oil consists of heart-healthy oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. This fatty acid is also the main component of olive oil, and believed to be partly responsible for its health benefits. The bottom line; avocado oil has been shown to increase healthy HDL and lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, as well as lower blood pressure.
I do not use preservatives, fillers, coloring or anti-caking additives. In addition, I do not use refined cane sugar, but prefer a combination of natural avocado honey and pure maple syrup. Avocado honey is known to help with anemia and deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus, as well as being a source of super rich anti oxidants. If made properly, the granola should last a month or two in a airtight container in your cupboard, and will taste better than any store bought version.
The bottom line: Store bought granola may have not be as healthy as you think. However, making your own is fairly simple, delicious, and provides excellent health benefits.
A word on portion sizes:
While this recipe is a nutrient dense superfood, you don’t need mixing bowl sized portions. One cup with low fat milk or almond milk is enough to supply you with your daily breakfast requirements. When I add this granola to smoothie bowls, I usually limit the the portion size to 1/3 cup. It is as delicious as it is nutritious, so be mindful not to over do it.
This recipe is very flexible. You can substitute your favorite dried berries or fruit, as you see fit. Some friends of mine love pecans or walnuts instead of the cashews. Let your taste decide.
- 4 cups rolled oats like McCanns Rolled oats are also know as instant oats
- 1 cup almonds, sliced
- 1/2 cup macadamia, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
- 3/4 cup avocado oil Subs: grapeseed, vegetable
- 1/2 cup avocado honey or your favorite honey
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup mango dried and diced
- 1 cup cherries dried and diced
- 1 cup apricots dried and diced
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 325.
In a large mixing bowl, add almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, and fold in oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over oats mixture and stir to mix evenly.
Prepare a 13x18 sheet pan with vegetable spray. Pour oat mixture on the sheet pan and place into the oven for 45 minutes.
Stir the oat mixture with a wide spatula every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure even roasting until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Add the cherries, apricots, and mango. Stir to evenly mix. Store in an airtight container.