Monday, June 30, 2014

Cranberry Pumpkin Chia Granola

Granola has become ever-popular in the last decade. What was once considered food for “tree huggers” has now become mainstream. Granola can be a healthy food, but not are created equal. Making your own granola is super easy and is much less expensive than those sold in stores. 


Plus you get to personalize it to your tastes and nutritional needs. Need to watch your sugar intake? Try splenda brown sugar instead of maple syrup or honey. Need gluten free? Start with gluten-free oats. Hate cinnamon? Leave it out. The possibilities are endless. I never know exactly what I’m going to put in my granola, but typically have a good variety of nuts, seeds, some dried fruits, and either flax or chia. You can make it as simple or as complex as you wish.


Granola is a perfect topping for your favorite yogurt or can be enjoyed with milk or favorite milk alternative. Portions are key with granola because it is a higher calorie choice (1/4 cup is a serving vs. ¾ to 1 cup of most cereals). Trying to watch your weight or calories? Add a handful of granola to your favorite unsweetened whole grain cereal instead of having a whole bowl of it.


Cranberry, Pumpkin and Chia Granola

Makes 10 servings (1/4 cup serving)



2 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)

2 Tbsp real maple syrup

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp water

½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

½ cup dried cranberries (or low sugar Craisins)



  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together except cranberries in a large bowl.
  3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring one or two times during cooking.
  4. Remove from oven, add dried cranberries and allow to cool. When completely cooled place in plastic baggies or Ball canning jars.


Nutrition Facts: ¼ cup:

150 calories, 6 g fat (0 g saturated), 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein, 70 mg sodium


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