Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nutty Maple Granola

Nutty Maple Granola
Granola and greek yogurt is one of my go-to quick breakfasts. I love the extra crunch and the "staying power" that allows me to get me to my next meal without being hungry. Granola is a fairly calorie dense food so portion control is key. Not all granolas are created equal either. Some are made with lots of oils and sugar, making it a not-so-healthy choice. 

Making your own granola is so easy and can save you money by making it on your own. You can be as creative as you want with your ingredients. You may try experimenting with dried fruits, different nuts/seeds, dried coconut, or cocoa. 
Maple Taps

Oh maple syrup...
As a proud Vermonter I support the local maple syrup producers. Nothing beats real VT maple syrup! My family used to sugar, but does not do any longer (total bummer). Maple syrup is a wonderful sweetener in recipes, but it still contains a lot of sugar (15 g carbohydrates per Tbsp) and sets you back about 60 calories. Did you know that it is an excellent source of the mineral Manganese? 

Nutty Maple Granola
Makes 3 cups
1 hour and 45 minutes
Toasted nuts

Ingredients:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup mixed nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews etc)
2 Tbsp canola oil 
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. 
2. Place the mixed nuts in a plastic bag. Use a meat tenderizer or pan to smash the nuts into small pieces. Spread the nuts on a cooking sheet and toast for about 7 minutes.
3. Mix the oats, brown sugar, sunflower seeds, and toasted nuts in a large bowl. 
4. Mix the oil, water, maple syrup, and vanilla in a separate bowl. 
5. Pour over oat mixture and stir well.
6. Spread a thin layer of mixture on a large cooking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. 
7. Remove from heat and stir. Bake for an additional 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts: 1/4 cup granola
145 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein, 20 mg sodium

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