This recipe for homemade organic yogurt is now five years old. Our kitchen has been renamed “The Granola Factory.” And we continue to make it over and over again. We now have friends and families who anticipate this super-nutritious-hardly-sweetened nutrient-dense super-food granola. Last year Mark and I made little gift cards with the ingredients, a link to the recipe, and a title that read “The first ingredient is always love.”
Last year I added macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds. So incredibly yummy. I like a little bit of granola with the nuts! We served it this morning with pomegranate seeds. I’m a also big fan of keeping frozen blueberries year round because they are so good for you, plus delicious, versatile and convenient. This granola is gift worthy. I promise! Two other things I have learned now that the granola is in its fourth year: When using nuts that are already roasted, add them after the granola cooks. Cook raw nuts with the granola. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The reason this is the best granola is because of my secret sauce. I searched and searched. At least on the Internet, the Great Recipe Book in the Clouds, I found no recipe using my two favorite ingredients: raw, crunchy almond butter and coconut oil. This year to up the health benefits even more, I added some MCT, also known as medium-chain tryglcerides as coconut oil.
This granola is mildly sweetened so it will not spike your blood sugar. The sweetness comes from the vanilla and almond extracts, raisins, chopped dates (new this year), coconut, and cinnamon. The small amount of maple syrup makes it sweet and tasty without overdoing it. I don’t like sugary-dessert-like granola. If you were on a desert island, you could live on this “nutrient-dense” version. It is loaded with protein, healthy carbs, artery friendly fats, omega oils, and fiber. It contains no refined or processed sugar or sweeteners. For you health nerds thing: balance of micro and macro nutrients.
I recommend and use all organic products. It tastes better, and is better for you and the environment. The dried fruit contains no added ingredients or preservatives, and is unsweetened.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered raw almonds
1 cup whole raw cashews (the whole ones have more flavor than the chopped ones)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
(At this point, if you are a nut lover like I am, you can add as many other varieties as you like. In 2016 we had sunflower seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, plus the seeds recommended below.)
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil plus 1/4 cup MCT oil
2/3 cup crunchy raw almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (You will see how little sweetening it is relative to the whole batch.)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cap full pure vanilla extract (the top of the little bottle)
1 cap full pure almond extract (the top of the little bottle)
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried apricots, chopped (or the fruit of your choice) (This year I used chopped organic dates.)
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup chia seeds
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Put the jars of coconut oil and the almond butter in the bowl to soften. Do this early in the process. Do not attempt to stir
these ingredients until they are easy to work with.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and coconut.
In another bowl, mix the flax and chia seeds with the dried fruit. Set aside.
In a third bowl, combine the softened oil, MCT, and almond butter, maple syrup, both extracts, and salt.
Mix thoroughly the oat mixture with the oil and almond butter mixture. Cover the oats completely.
Spread mixture on two sheet pans, no thicker than about one? to one-and-a half inches of the granola.
Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes to achieve an even color.
The goal is crunchy, slightly browned, not burnt, granola.
Remove from oven and allow granola to cool completely.
Add granola to the raisin/dried fruit/seed mixture and distribute evenly.
Serve with unsweetened almond or soy milk, yogurt, or the milk of your choice. A sante!
Wishing you and your loved ones a merry, happy, healthy, fun-filled holiday season.
Rosie Bank is Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of Health Matters Coaching. She is the author of the book, Health Matters and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Rosie is an international speaker, blogger, and the founder of Health Matters podcast. She is certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through the American Fitness Professional Association and as a Nutrition Advisor through Sanoviv Medical Institute. Rosie’s partner in nutrition since 1999 is USANA Health Sciences. To learn how Rosie can help you maximize your health and achieve your goals, schedule here. Join our online community at Facebook to keep up on ways to stay healthy.
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