As you probably have heard me say many times, the foods we generally think of as healthy may not actually be the best, at least not for you.
A case in point is granola. It is advertised, and priced, as being the crème de la crème of breakfast cereals. And, some of it is very nutritious. However, for people sensitive to gluten and/or sugar, most granola is NOT a healthy choice. (Some is incredibly high in sugar so read labels!)
I have arthritis, mostly in my hands, which makes life very uncomfortable when it flares up – usually during cold and/or wet weather but also after eating too many sugars or simple carbohydrates. Since I limited these items in my diet, I have kept my inflammation under control. Even during our recent cold snap (-30 to -40C), I am virtually pain-free. I keep my cereal choices to whole grain cooked cereals (Red River, Sunny Boy, and Q’ia brands or old-fashioned and steel-cut oats), and this granola recipe. Bursting with nuts, seeds, and coconut, it is flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of natural sweetener. Yes, it is comparatively high in fats but they are “healthy” fats and it is very satisfying so a serving should be fairly small. I usually stir 1/3 c. into my plain yogurt.
The recipe calls for “activated” nuts which simply mean that they are covered in water to soak overnight before proceeding with the recipe. I have run into this procedure often in the recipes I use. Apparently nuts are much easier to digest and nutrients are more easily absorbed after soaking. (This is the same logic used for sprouted grains used in baking, which I also find less inflammatory than regular bread but not as good as sourdough.)
Other than this little step, the recipe is very simple and flexible. Simply use a combination of nuts and seeds that meets your personal taste, budget, or pantry inventory.
Stir granola after 10 - 15 minutes of baking and again once or twice during second 10 - 15 minutes, watching that it doesn't overbrown. Once cool, store and enjoy!
2 c. mixed nuts* (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts)
1 c. seeds (sunflower*, pumpkin*, chia)
1 c. shredded coconut
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ c. coconut oil
¼ c. pure maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Activate(soak overnight) nuts* & seeds* (not chia)
2. Pulse all ingredients except syrup & coconut oil and vanilla in blender or processor until chunky
3. Combine syrup/honey, vanilla & coconut oil in separate bowl
4. Pour “wet” ingredients over nuts; stir until well coated
5. Bake at 325F on parchment-lined sheet for 10-15 minutes; stir well with fork to avoid clumps
6. Bake additional 10 – 15 minutes; check & stir to avoid burning
Allow to cool completely before storing