granola for everyone (yes, everyone!)
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
I love granola.
And I’m not alone.
There’s nothing quite like that delectable blend of crunchy sweetness—whether it serves as your breakfast base, mid-morning snack, or the topping to your favorite dessert (coconut yogurt with granola and cocoa nibs… yes, please!)
But let’s be real. Not all granola is created equal.
One quick look in a standard cereal aisle and you’ll likely find a variety of sugar-laden desserts disguised as granola. They’re loaded with sugars and not so good fats (hey—that’s most certainly not health food, no matter what the box says!)
Or perhaps like me, your dietary limitations make most granola a no-go for you.
It might be the grains, the nuts, the seeds or the added sugars (even the more natural kinds like honey or maple syrup) that keep you from going for that granola that your kids or sweetie can happily gobble up.
Here on the FxNA nutrition team, we’ve got a granola recipe to suit nearly every dietary need. (Tacos and pizza too!) In fact, we’re masters at coming up with creative alternatives when certain ingredients are off limits for our nutrition counseling clients as well as ourselves.
This is especially the case when it comes to granola goodness, as we believe that nobody should do without.
For the next month or so, I’ll be sharing a favorite granola recipe from each of the FxNA nutritionists that features a specific ingredient or meets a unique dietary need (gluten-free, AIP, paleo, buckwheat-based, kid-friendly and even raw are all coming your way over the next few weeks!)
And as we begin our groovy tour of granola, you might find it fun to know that granola was first created back in 1863 by Dr. James Caleb Jackson, a health pioneer who believed that all illness was rooted in the stomach. (I couldn’t agree more!)
In his quest to help clients at his sanitarium in New York, he created the first “granula” (as he called it) by baking graham flour into cakes, crumbling it, and baking it again.
Rumor has it that his first go at granula was a far cry from the granola we now know and love (barely edible to tell the truth), but it did set the stage for the tasty treat we enjoy today.
Soon after, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (yes, that Kellogg) created a similar blend and changed the name to granola to set his product apart.
Ironically, the granola you’ll find in the aisles of your local health food store grew in popularity during the 1960’s as a healthier counter to the sugary cereals (from that same Dr. Kellogg) that had become the norm at breakfast tables far and wide.
For today, we’re kicking off our guide to granola with an old FxNA favorite. It’s the go-to granola I make for my son and share with FxNA clients who are new to eating gluten-free. It’s the granola that my dad would always ask me to make when he was coming to visit. (He loved the big chunks and would pick them right out of the jar and eat them like cookies.)
What’s your go-to granola recipe? I’d love to know.
Share it on the FxNA Facebook page and let’s get our granola on!
Speaking of our stellar FxNA team, we’re accepting new clients into our Nutrition Counseling Services. Click here to learn more.
go-to gluten-free granola
A long-time FxNA favorite, this is my go-to granola recipe when someone is just getting started with eating gluten-free or it’s their first try at homemade granola. As with most granola recipes, this one is forgiving! Use is as a guide and include whatever nuts, seeds, spices, and dried fruits that will make you grateful for your morning grub.
- 3-4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, gently melted
- 1 Tbsp carob powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coconut syrup, yacon syrup or brown rice syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
set aside any combination of the following:
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mix together the gluten-free oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, sesame seeds.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the gently melted oil, carob powder, cinnamon, sweetener,
and salt. Add this mixture to the large bowl and
In a lasagna pan or on 2 flat cookie sheets, spread the mixture evenly and bake for 15 minutes, until the top layer is browned. Then, flip/mix with a spatula and place back in oven for another 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
The mixture will be moist, but will dry and h
arden as it cools. Mix in dried fruit ingredients and let cool, stirring every so often to prevent clumping. Store in an air-tight container.
Alternately, you can place all initial ingredients in a slow cooker or crock potovernight and add the fruit in the morning. This is one of my favorite time savers!
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