Ohhhh granola, you are crunchy, satisfying, sweet and make a perfect topping to almost anything, plus when you are baking away, you make the whole place smell incredible. With this healthy granola recipe, there is absolutely no need to ever buy store-bought granola again, because not only does this taste better (I promise) it’s actually much more nutritious and can even be cheaper as well. Store bought granola can contain a frightening amount of added sugar and other additives which often people mistake as healthy and then eat more of it then they should (thanks to the sugar). It’s actually a common misconception that store bought granola is healthy, mostly because its labeled and marketed in such a clever way that people look past the ingredients and focus instead on the fluff. Hey, I used to buy granola bars all the time and would often keep them in my bag when the mood struck for something sweet and healthy. Unfortunately, the hunger would only subside for a short time and then I would be craving more and more, and having more than one was no big deal, because they were healthy (they contained like 4 grams of fibre, right?!?). Now that I know better, I do better and I put together this insanely delicious and slightly addictive healthy granola recipe for you to have instead of that store-bought “healthy granola.”
Let’s take a look at some of these amazing ingredients that are the stars of this recipe.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas are a great source of manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and protein. They also have antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-viral properties due to the lignans in them and they are actually recommended in many parasite cleanses for this reason.
Sunflower seeds contain a great amount of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that would otherwise cause damage. This means that they also are anti-inflammatory and play an important role in protecting against cardiovascular disease. These seeds are also a great source of Vitamin B1, manganese and magnesium. They also provide a great source of selenium, which is very important to your health. Selenium has been shown to encourage DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells and to inhibit the production of cancer cells.
Cacao nibs are peeled and crumbled from whole cacao beans which comes straight from the tropical cacao fruit, so you see chocolate is actually a fruit ;). These are a rich source of magnesium which is vital for the nervous system and is responsible for hundreds of other chemical reactions in our bodies. It is what helps to calm our muscles and nerves and the sad truth is that so many people are deficient in this vital mineral simply because they don’t have enough in their diet. Magnesium also creates and maintains bone integrity, enables energy production, enhances control of blood sugar and enhances control of inflammation. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that requires a much more thorough analysis than that which I have just provided, so just be aware of the multitude of uses that this mineral provides.
Goji berries are typically found in Asian and European countries but are sold in many health food stores and in bulk across North America. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and are loaded with beta-carotene which helps promote healthy and vibrant skin. Due to their high Vitamin C content, they are also great for the immune system, building collagen and have a good amount of fibre and protein in them.
Healthy Granola Recipe:
This recipe makes a pretty hefty amount, so feel free to reduce or add as you see fit. I like to make a big batch and then store in mason jars and tie a ribbon around them and give them as a gift to family and friends. I always find home-made gifts much more special than store bought anyways.
Note: For a paleo version, you can leave out the oats and buckwheat and just have the nuts and dried fruit, you may wish to decrease the maple syrup as well.
- 1 ½ cups certified gluten free rolled oats (or regular rolled oats)
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup raw pecans
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup raw buckwheat
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup dried flaked coconut
- ¼ cup raw cacao nibs
- ¼ cup dried cranberries/blueberries (or a mix of both)
- 3 tbsp. of dried goji berries (optional)
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300. Layer your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
- Mix the following dry ingredients in a bowl: oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Melt the coconut oil first and then add to the maple syrup and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dried ingredients and mix well, using your hands if needed.
- Place the oats onto a parchment paper lined baking tray and spread it out so it is flat, using a wooden spoon.
- Place into the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, checking at the 20 minute mark to make sure it is not getting too crisp.
- Let it cool on the pan, before breaking it up and adding the cacao nibs, cranberries/blueberries and goji berries to the oats and then store.
- I purchase buckwheat (as well as all my nuts and seeds) from a grocery store (such as Whole Foods) in the bulk section, or a larger scale health food store (in the bulk section).
- I purchase cacao nibs, dried cranberries (sweetened only with apple juice) and goji berries from a health food store in the dried goods section or bulk section.