Granola is one of those controversial foods that teeters on the healthy/unhealthy seesaw on a regular basis – sometimes it’s healthy, but other times it’s not. How is anyone supposed to keep up?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
In theory, granola is a healthy snack. The basis of granola is some type of oat – rolled, old fashioned, steel cut – and oats are packed with health benefits. They’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’ve also been linked to lower blood sugar, weight loss, and even lower the risk of heart disease.
But oats are just the beginning. Granola is so customizable that it can either get even more nutritious, or it can go off the deep end.
To keep your granola healthy, the best bet is to make it yourself. This gives you the control to limit any added sugar, which is granola’s Achilles’ heel.
Try using raw honey for sweetness instead of plain sugar or chocolate. You can add in dried fruit, but check the added sugar first – dried fruit is another sneaky snack that can seem healthy when it isn’t, so be sure to read labels.
For more protein, you can toss in some raw nuts or even some peanut butter. As always, though, be cautious with the peanut butter you choose. Some brands are filled with sugar and other questionable ingredients, but there are some good ones out there.
And remember, granola is a nutrient-dense food so a little will go a long way. It’s easy to turn healthy granola into unhealthy granola when we disregard serving sizes.
Get started making your own granola with this recipe we adapted from simplyshellie.com.
2 cups Old fashioned oats
1 cup rice krispies
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: Dried fruit or your choice of nut
Cover an 8×8 baking dish with aluminum foil
In a medium size pan add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Put on stove over low heat. Stir occasionally.
In a large bowl, add old fashioned oats, rice krispies, flax seeds, and chia seeds
Once the peanut butter mixture is completely melted, combine with the dry ingredients. Still well. (If you want to add optional ingredients, do so now)
Pour and press into 8×8 pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars, and enjoy!
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