There’s a dirty little secret about granola, which we’re cleaning up. Granola is like the Miley Cyrus of breakfast foods – you think she’s just wholesome bites of Hannah Montana and stuff like that, and then you find out there’s some twerk and weed in that food.
Granola’s nutritional value starts with decent ingredients that are high in fiber and protein, but it takes a turn, as does yogurt, with high levels of nutrition-void sugars and ultimately the calorie count is through the roof.
We had been eating up this version for everything: breakfasts, late night snacking, gifts for friends and even taking sad little ziploc bagfuls to the theatre as a popcorn replacement. This so-called clean granola was so good that my husband with his falconer mitt hands was willing to pick at a rolled oat and a chopped pecan as an adequate movie fare. We were addicted until I added up the ingredients in the trusty Lose-it app and about lost it when I saw the calorie count – 800+/cup. Come on Gwyn, we know you’re not downing buckets of these oatmeal clusters. Then, I searched other recipes online and found even those billed as low-calorie were anything but.
Determined to lower the count, but retain scrumptious flavor and nutrition, we reduced obvious offenders, sugar and oil by 2/3 and halved the amount of chopped nuts. The surprise came from learning calorie count of rolled oats versus puffed millet, so we swapped out portions. Puffed millet does not have quite the fiber impact as rolled oats, so you’ll have to make that choice.
Our version, on the right above, brought the calorie count down to a rare 450/cup with plenty of sweetness and that’s, pretty cool
clean, lean granola
1/2 cup rolled oats (2 cups for the oats-dominant version)
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup raw chopped cashews (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup raw chopped pecans (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon maldon (or other coarse sea salt), but maldon is so much better
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (2/3 cup)
1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup coconut oil (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
2. Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut sugar with water and cook over very low heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Be careful hereâ€”the sugar can burn easily.
4. Turn off the heat, add coconut oil, and stir with a spatula until the oil has melted. Add vanilla to mixture and stir.
5. Add the sugar and oil mixture to the bowl in a steady stream to disperse the mixture. Mix to combine well, and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, then use a large spatula to turn and mix, and bake for another 20 minutes.
recipe inspired by goop.com, but slimproved by crunchtimefood.com