I am one of those, or maybe just the only “one of those” who is skeptical of what is actually in my food. I even doubt the “organic” label. “Is it really organic?? And so the journey from grocery store shelf to cart is not an easy one. It must go through the rigorous battle of counting the sugar grams, protein grams, etc. and once proven a product worthy of sitting in my pantry, it is put inside my cart (which by the way, my cart looks like I was participating in one of those game shows where you must race up and down the aisles, throwing contents of food in to your cart in a small amount of time).
I have noticed as I read many food labels that a lot of food has more sugar in it than it has too. So I find a recipe on line where I can experiment with sugar and substituting other healthy foods until it reaches “cardboard status” where I back up and add more sugar or make it less healthy. You see? I do have standards.
One food where I have really experimented with is granola. Every one loves granola and it comes in so many different flavors and most of the time , with LOTS of sugar. This is where I think that I can take some of the sugar out, and the result? I can!
I have made several dozen different granola recipes. Some aren’t chunky enough, have ingredients that I don’t like, or just aren’t a solid recipe. After experimenting with the recipes, I have perfected one for our family. Here it is:
5 Cups Oats
3/4 cups flax (if you don’t want to add flax or don’t have it, you can substitute wheat germ or just add an additional 3/4 cup oats)
2 cups nuts (I just say “nuts” because so many recipes TELL you what to put in it, but really you can do whatever you want. I use cashews and sliced almonds)
3/4 teas salt
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (I use grapeseed because of the health benefits)
1 1/2 Table cinnamon
1 1/2 Table vanilla
1 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries and cherries)
Directions: Combine all of the ingredients except the fruit. Toss well and put on a greased cookie sheet (I put foil down for easy transport from tray to bag to store). Cook for about 20 min in a 350 degree oven, tossing half way through the baking.
This is important if you want your granola to stick together nicely and not just be toasted oats and nuts. After it is finished baking, LEAVE it alone on the baking sheet until it is completely cool. Then toss with the dried fruit and put in the container to store. I don’t cook the fruit with the granola because sometimes it can overcook and taste burnt.
We serve our granola with Nancy’s vanilla yogurt!