There’s no denying the deliciousness of wholesome granola — it’s a candy and crunchy snack that’s kid-friendly and simple to tackle the go.
However the energy and sugar content material in store-bought granola can add up quick.
“Granola is a type of tough merchandise available on the market that massive meals corporations like to understand as ‘wholesome’ when actually they add a ton of added sugars, oil, and preservatives,” explains Ashley Nader, R.D.
That doesn’t imply you need to miss out on the vitamins granola gives — or the yummy taste.
Discover ways to make wholesome granola at residence, and also you’ll be capable of get pleasure from this straightforward, versatile snack in a means that nourishes you.
1. Begin with dry substances
Oats are the go-to base for a wholesome home made granola.
Past that, you’ll be able to carry some selection to your granola by selecting one nut, one seed, and one dried fruit so as to add to the combination.
Nuts present “a wholesome dose of plant-based protein and essential vitamins like vitamin E and potassium,” says Mackenzie Burgess, R.D.N., registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Decisions.
You could need to embody one kind of chopped nut (like pecans) and one kind of complete nut (like almonds) for added texture.
Simply be sure to’re shopping for uncooked, unsalted nuts.
Should you’re making this granola as a part of a vitamin plan for weight reduction, bear in mind that though nuts are wholesome, they’re very calorically dense.
Pumpkin, hemp, and sunflower seeds are good choices, however Burgess prefers chia seeds in her granola as a result of these tiny-but-mighty seeds present heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Consider unsweetened dried fruit as extra of a condiment than a foremost ingredient in your granola.
The energy can add up quick, however a bit of sprinkle brings scrumptious pops of chewy texture and candy taste.
Think about using freeze-dried fruit — it has a crunchier texture than conventional dried fruit and no added sugars.
2. Add spices
Cinnamon is a basic selection, however be at liberty to experiment together with your creation.
Pair cinnamon with cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice for a pumpkin spice granola.
Or, if you happen to’re feeling adventurous, use Chinese language 5 spice to provide your wholesome granola the heat and sweetness you’re keen on from cinnamon, with a touch of licorice taste.
3. Select your moist substances correctly
This step is the place your home made granola will differ considerably from the prepackaged granola within the grocery retailer aisles.
Whereas retailer manufacturers use canola or soybean oil, you’ll be able to go for unrefined virgin coconut oil and management the quantity.
You’ll additionally want to decide on a sweetener — one thing much less processed than the high-fructose corn syrup discovered in lots of store-bought granola manufacturers.
Maple syrup and honey are each stable selections, and you should utilize simply sufficient to sweeten it to your style with out overdoing it. Stevia and monk fruit are good sugar-free choices.
Nader notes that you simply don’t essentially want to make use of sweeteners in your wholesome granola — you’ll be able to add a little bit of sweetness with dried fruit or flavorful spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pure vanilla extract as a substitute.
4. Combine dry and moist substances individually
Toss your nuts, seeds, dried fruit (if you happen to’re utilizing it), and spices collectively.
Should you’re utilizing coconut flakes or chocolate chips in your granola, set these apart for now — you’ll add them within the final step.
Set that combination apart and mixing your oil and sweetener in one other bowl. Should you’re including vanilla extract to your recipe, that goes in with the moist substances.
5. Pour moist substances over dry substances
Combine them to coat your dry substances as a lot as potential. (Nobody desires a mouthful of dry oats.)
Switch this combination onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking sheet.
Should you like granola with bigger chunks in it, don’t unfold the combination too skinny. The oats, nuts, and seeds should be shut collectively to bake into these completely crunchy clusters.
6. Bake till golden brown
Bake your granola combination at 325° F for 25 to half-hour, stirring each 10 minutes, or till granola is mild golden brown and crisp.
Keep watch over your baking sheet to make sure no clusters are getting too crispy on the edges.
If the granola is browning erratically, you should utilize a spatula to softly shift it round in the course of your bake time.
7. Save coconut and chocolate for final
Should you’re eyeing shaved coconut or chocolate chips as granola substances, there are particular steps you’ll want to take.
Chocolate chips must be added on the finish when your granola is out of the oven and has cooled to room temperature — in any other case, you’ll find yourself with a melty mess.
Shaved coconut will brown sooner than the opposite substances talked about above.
Should you’re eager on utilizing it, add it about midway by way of the bake time in order that it will get golden however doesn’t cross into burnt territory.
Artistic Methods to Use Do-it-yourself Wholesome Granola
Now comes the enjoyable half: considering of various scrumptious methods to get pleasure from your wholesome granola.
More healthy home made granola can nonetheless add up, although, so Burgess recommends sticking with a quarter- or half-cup serving based mostly in your caloric wants.
Make “nature’s cereal”
That is Nader’s particular recipe: She places a serving of wholesome granola in a bowl and provides chopped recent fruit, like bananas and strawberries.
Then she tops it with unsweetened almond milk.
Add protein through the use of common milk as a substitute of almond milk or by mixing almond milk with protein powder earlier than pouring it over the fruit and granola combination.
(For a extra balanced breakfast, get pleasure from it with one other supply of protein, like two boiled eggs.)
High your Greek yogurt or make a parfait
A sprinkle of home made granola makes a bowl of Greek yogurt way more flavorful and texturally advanced.
Add fruit in order for you one thing akin to a parfait, or layer the substances in a glass for the true parfait expertise.
Take it on the go as a snack
Granola is a straightforward on-the-go snack when tossed in a baggie, particularly if you happen to ensure that your recipe has oatmeal clusters in it.
Pair it with one thing that has protein, corresponding to a protein shake or drinkable yogurt.
Sprinkle it over a salad
You could be extra accustomed to savory croutons, however home made wholesome granola additionally brings a welcome crunch to your bowl of greens.
Granola is an ideal topper for goat cheese and strawberry salad!